Thursday, July 31, 2008

BATTLES IN THE BLOGOSPHERE
...when conflicts arise, how should we respond and work towards resolve?

When we are wronged, spoken falsely about, our character maligned and reputation smudged, how should we as Christians respond? What does the Word of God teach about this, especially when it comes to the arena of blogging?

There has been an issue of late where a dear man of God, Ken Silva, and his website were forced to go dark because of one complaint lodged against him by another blogger. This other blogger claimed he was slandered by Ken; IMHO, after reading all the documents I could find, he wasn't. This other blogger made a few mistakes: he never contacted Ken directly; he did not follow biblical guidelines for resolve; and he tried to deal with this by reporting Ken to an easily intimated web hosting company of his blog. The next thing you know, Ken's site is gone - sent to electron heaven.

I posted a comment about this on the blogger in question's website asking him to state specifically what the offense was and the words Ken used to describe him that he thought were slanderous. Not only did he not answer my polite and reasonable question, he deleted my comment. After a few other comments, he then closed comments on his thread.

As many of you know, I have had many bloggers say the most outrageous, egregious, and untrue statements about myself and my theology for years. Some do it with an unbridled reckless abandon as if they were a character in a comic book or something. Some react without thinking and are just plain foolish. Some do it to elevate their own self-worth. Some do it because I have challenged them biblically and out of embarrassment in not being able to defend their skewed theology... attack. And then some, in a godly attitude with cogent and meaningful dialogue say strong things because they were right and I needed to see another side of an issue. Regardless, whether from good or bad motives, I am grateful for all of it for the Lord has used it and continues to use it to conform me to Himself. Though I have to admit I have had my share of tears shed and sleepless nights over some of the very ugly commentary directed at me. On occasion, my own attorney would very much like "to minister" to some of these amateur journalists and theologues clothed in blogging rags, but I have instructed him otherwise. It doesn't serve the gospel or the ministry of God's Word to do so... does it? As my dear friend, Dr. John MacArthur, told me years ago, "don't spend your time defending yourself Steve. If you do, you will do nothing else. Defend the Word of God and His gospel and let the Lord take care of others and their opinions of you. Be teachable and thank the Lord for even their unkind and untrue words. Your reputation is not what is ultimately important, God's glory is." Great advice that I try to honor by God's grace.

So how should conflict about message and messenger biblically be handled in the blogosphere? Here are a few thoughts that I hope will prove helpful and be an encouragement to you.

1. Go to your brother privately
If there is an offense between two people of a personal nature, the offended one or the one doing the offending has the biblical duty to go to each other and to do so without delay. They should seek a quick and godly resolve. Hear the words of our Lord Jesus:
"So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison." -Matthew 5:23-25

2. Church discipline
If an offense or sin occurs between two believers in the Lord, they are first to go to each other and try to win their brother. If that one on one process fails, then they are to take two or three witnesses to confirm what has happened. Within these witnesses should be a pastor or elder of your church. If the party in sin doesn't "hear them" - meaning resolve the matter, then it is to be told to the church. This is not for revenge or retribution, but for repentance, reconciliation and resolve. Lastly, if the party in sin does not repent, then they are to be treated as a nonbeliever. Treated as such, not declared as such, but treated as such. So many people in a rush to judgment will declare someone is not saved and that is not the meaning nor the spirit of church discipline. How do you treat a nonbeliever? With respect, with Christlike love, with humility, and with boldness proclaiming the gospel to them. IOW, continually, lovingly, and with grace, respect and humility give them the gospel and call them to repentance to follow Christ. BTW, the only sin anyone is ever treated as a nonbeliever for is for lack of repentance. Whatever the offense might be, if they repent, all is forgiven and restoration may occur. This is one reason why commitment to a local church is so important. It is a protective and a proactive way to deal with sin and conflict and wrongs that can surface with other believers.

Listen to the words of Jesus:
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” -Matthew 18:15-20
3. Protect the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace
The Apostle Paul says,
"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." -Ephesians 4:1-3
After three great chapters of doctrine and theology, Paul begins the last three chapters as to the responsibility of our redemption in the Lord Jesus Christ. His command? Walk worthy to your calling. Where is this first evidenced? In the local church with other believers. And how is this manifested? With humility: (a small opinion of ourselves and a high view of God); gentleness: (taking the mistreatment, injustice and wrongs against us free from revenge, malice and retribution accompanied by doing acts of kindness to the very ones causing the offense trusting in God through it all in how He uses that situation to conform us to Christlikeness. It is the surrender of our rights.); patience: (endurance in the provocation until the healing comes.); and bearing with one another in love: (keeping the greater goal of our testimony in the Lord chief even while being misused by another.

IOW, live and walk in forgiveness and unfailing love. This takes grace for we are not strong enough to do this in and of ourselves.

4. Lastly, why not rather be wronged?
The Apostle Paul gives very clear instruction about how not to handle grievances with other believers in the Lord. Lawsuits are strictly forbidden. And in the case of the blogosphere, pursuing legal action, even if the case is not civil, to resolve a wrong is forbidden. "It is the glory of a man to overlook an offense" (Proverbs 19:11). "Love covers a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8); IOW, it protects the scope of who has knowledge of another's failings. And we should demonstrate that kind of love not only to fellow believers in the Lord, not only to our neighbors, but to our enemies as well (Matt. 5:40-44).

Listen to Paul's strong and stern words for the church at Corinth:
When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! -1 Corinthians 6:1-8
Bringing it home
How does this effect us in the blogosphere, and in specific, how would one respond to the unfortunate incident brought against our brother Ken recently?

If someone writes an article about us where we feel we might have been mischaracterized, misrepresented or even slandered, go to that person first and settle it there. If still no resolve, go to your local pastor and have him handle this within the local church where he may even have to go and meet with another church on your behalf. Let us do all that we can as much as it depends on us to be at peace with all men (Roms. 12:18); especially those within the household of faith endeavoring to keep the unity of Spirit in the bond of peace. Lastly, if persistent God-honoring communication fails to produce resolve, you can trust the Lord and say it is better that I am wronged than I pursue my rights to be right and bring fracture and harm to the body of Christ. Your witness for the gospel and your life representing the Lord Jesus is more important than you being vindicated.

Some tips to help guard against slander and libel:
1. Speak the truth
2. Do your homework and research well; don't just vent, study to be approved
3. Document well and link accurately to corroborate your views
4. Develop your post and conclusions from the Word of God
5. Don't make it personal, stay on message
6. Check motives and be willing to immediately correct any wrongs
7. Debate, discuss, and dialogue; don't defame
Beloved, this little vaporous life we live here is not ultimately about us, it is all about Him and His glory. Living in forgiveness and Christlike love doesn't condone wrongs against us or minimize their impact or consequences. But it does mean we will be free from causing needless conflict, free from bitterness, anger, wrath, clamor and slander. Our little reputations and carefully cultivated bios are not what is the chief concern here.

Are we honoring God's Word? Are we willing to give up our rights to glorify Him? Is a blog worth dividing the body of Christ or protecting our wounded egos?

SDG

154 comments:

christcommunicator said...

Greetings Steve:

Thank you for your words in this post. It made me think of an article that your friend Jim Elliff wrote a little earlier this year, and I thought I would point it out to you and your readers in case you haven't seen it: http://www.ccwtoday.org/article_view.asp?article_id=186

Warmly in Our Savior,
Steve Burchett

SJ Camp said...

Steve
Thank you brother! I so appreciate Jim and he is an excellent resource full of biblical and godly wisdom on a myriad of issues.

Great link.
Steve

josephmcbee said...

Steve: Excellent advice on this very sensitive issue. The truth is, we as followers of Christ simply should not be doing things the way those who do not follow Christ are doing them.

It may be acceptable for someone who is not a disciple to rush off and claim slander when they are offended, but as disciples of Jesus, we must do things differently as your post points out so well.

I also love Dr. MacArthur's advice to you. It is very powerful and something I will take to heart as well.

Thanks!

Carla said...

As unusual as it may be for me, I have nothing at all to add except a sincere thank you and a hearty amen.

Ken Silva said...

Hi Steve,

Thank you for what IMO is a balanced look at the bigger picture beyond simply Richard Abanes and myself.

It's interesting how you said: "I have had many bloggers say the most outrageous, egregious, and untrue statements about myself and my theology for years."

With the exception to the "for years," I can actually say something very similar. This may come as a shock to you, but I've become sort of a controversial figure in the Christian blogosphere.

Yeah I know, it's hard to believe, but 'tis true. However, one can look far and wide but they'll never see me complaining about my critics say about me. And yep, I actually have one or two. ;-)

SJ Camp said...

JosephMcbee
Thank you brother. I know I have said wrong things in the past and have had them said about me. It's not good either way.

We all need to guard against this...
Campi

SJ Camp said...

Carla
Thank you friend.

SJ Camp said...

Ken
I am praying for you my brother and appreciate your example through it all this past week. You are a godly man and I thank the Lord for you.

Keep on my friend...
Steve
2 Cor. 4:5-7

Mike Ratliff said...

Amen Steve! Well done brother!

SJ Camp said...

Mike
Thank you my brother. I appreciated how you handled this too.

Good to have you comment here.

Grace and peace,
Steve

SJ Camp said...

Here is the link to Mike's article for those who are interested.

VIVIT,
Steve

Dusman said...

Steve,

Thanks for posting this. As usual, you are "spot on" brother. Glory be to God!

Only Look said...

MacArthur said>"don't spend your time defending yourself Steve. If you do, you will do nothing else. Defend the Word of God and His gospel and let the Lord take care of others and their opinions of you. Be teachable and thank the Lord for even their unkind and untrue words. Your reputation is not what is ultimately important, God's glory is."<

Amen...thats the sweet fruit of the Spirit of God. The sweet fruit of the Spirit is in your life as well Steve. I think the Holy Spirit is always more real and evident the more we surrender our rights...

and how did you put it? Carefully cultivated bios?

Ha ha ha. forgive me for laughing but thats something funny and thats also something we do need to laugh at and let go of, then maybe we all will start taking God and His word more seriously and ourselves less so. This is an unfortunate occurance, but there always is a cost when he calls us to surrender our rights and to love as He has loved us and been patient with us.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

GODPLEZUR said...

Hi Steve,
I fellowship with the Unleavened Bread Ministry.org Recently we had to follow the steps set forth in Matt18:15-17 with a man who is thought to be a prophet in some circles.The elders followed the steps in Matt 18. This news has been all over the blogoshere making it to The Edge Radio and who knows where else.
What many people miss, I think, is that even though we sit at our PC'S in our respective homes, we all conjointly are "The CHURCH", and as such, still must follow the Word of God.Even if it brings discomfort, or thwarts the desires of our carnal nature.
UBM is an online fellowship, so for "us" we give and receive information via the internet and the Chat room PalTalk. When things are posted on UBM's webpages, it is there for the purpose of informing the "Church at UBM" so to speak, not necessarily the public, although the public can view it. This does cause some problems when the Church has to deal will issues like the one that has just arisen.Especially when some cannot accept that even though we as believers are on the internet, we are still "The Church"
As brethern we need to remember that just because the world can't see us at our computer, the Father can, and we are still just as responsible for our words and actions. It is as if we were standing in our local place of fellowship, or in some cases, depending on the gifting-the pulpit.
I believe that many forget we are still the Chruch, (if we are indeed true believers), whether we are in a building or on the internet.Thusly, the Word of God is still our plumb line and we know that whatsoever we do, we should do all to the glory of God.
This was a good issue to bring up, and I can see you were faithful in trying to bring restoration.
I pray the Holy Spirit will bring conviction and repentance and restoration to His Body.

The Spokesman said...

SJ Camp, Ken Silva, Mike Ratliff, and all bloggers of truth:

"Be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, foreasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58).

BTW, the false prince of P.E.A.C.E. will have his false prophet - and they will not be interested in truth but in self-preservation and the perpetuation of falsehood.

Grace and peace,
Olan

Deb_B said...

"Lastly, why not rather be wronged?"

Amen, thank you for this today.

Mike Ratliff said...

the spokesman - Thanks for the encouragement brother. It is very much appreciated.

Campi - Thanks brother. I really appreciate your ministry.

All - Please pray for those who are contending for the faith. The enemy is relentless and truth is being eclipsed more and more each day by a pseudo-truth that has been compromised in such a way that it will appear that those who oppose it are the false and evil ones in the eyes of those are deluded. We must never forget that we battle not with flesh and blood, but with the powers of darkness. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement.

KarensFaith said...

Wise words from both you and John MacArthur! I've been following this as well and I think Mr. Silva has dealt with it admirably. I sometimes react without thinking it through first and I would hope that I would be as graceful as he has been about all of this. Good words from all of you here.

Blessings,
Karen

littlegal_66 said...

Brother Ken—
In prayer for you during this season. Stay strong; keep the faith.

Mike-:
So good to see a comment from you here. I hadn’t been to your blog in awhile; I guess I thought you’d stopped blogging.....so glad you haven’t!! (Thank you for your prayers over the last two years).

Campi:
Brother Silva said: “It's interesting how you said: ‘I have had many bloggers say the most outrageous, egregious, and untrue statements about myself and my theology for years.’"

I found that comment interesting as well, particularly the “for years” portion…..since COT has been in existence for about 3 years, and coupled with your propensity to maintain lightning rod status, I would surmise that this most likely translates into not only “for years” but pretty much the entire time blogging has been around; definitely for the lifetime of your blog thus far. I intend that not as an indictment against your "for years" terminology (never--not in a million years :-)), but rather, as a testament to the vitality of blogging, and the potency of the blogosphere.

Blogging has made such an impact, it seems as though it's been here "forever." Blogging is a formidable medium, a powerful medium, a valid medium, and a medium with staying-power, especially when it is substantiated by the Word; perfectly illustrated by the circumstances at hand. Let us not think it strange, nor be intimidated in the event this type of blogger's conflict presents itself to us; rather, let us stand as Pastor Silva has, firm in our convictions, confident in our faith, unwavering in the face of conflict, gentle and humble in our response.

SDG,

Littlegal

SJ Camp said...

the spokesman
Thank you my brother. Excellent words.

Roger said...

Steve,

Thank you so much for this post! I was starting to wonder if my dialogue with Richard Abanes over @ "The Down Grade" was worth it. Check it out here:

http://thedowngrade2007.blogspot.com/2008/07/richard-abanes-and-downfall-of-matthew.html

I think what you have said here is just a big expansion of what I was trying to communicate there! Great minds think alike... :-)
Thank you so much for your ministry here, it is such a blessing to so many. BTW, I gave you amongst others a shout out at my blog earlier in the week! You can see it here:

http://john1139.wordpress.com/2008/07/27/heres-a-shout-out/

Grace & Peace everyone,

R.A. Servin

Doulos Christou said...

Steve,

Well said. I think Richard's inability to interact meaningfully with any comments - and to continually repeat off-topic responses - together with his lack of any discernible sense of humility in this recent situation speaks volumes.

I know we blog, and live miles apart, but email addresses are easily obtainable, and phone calls could easily be exchanged. As I've said in other blog comments, I'm an attorney (please forgive me) and I don't see "legal" defamation in Ken's "offending" post. If there is, we should address it... but Richard's methodology is transparent and reprehensible.

I think your suggestions are practical and helpful because they are biblical. Thanks for adding positively to the mix!

SJ Camp said...

dusman
Thank you bro. Your words are an encouragement.

Grace,
Campi

SJ Camp said...

Roger
It is good for all of us to guard tone during these exchanges. Passion and heat are both good when used correctly. But ultimately the goal is light - amen?

May we all learn through this incident, honor all participants with respect and grace, speak the truth in love, and speak from a distinctive biblical worldview.

I appreciate you brother.
Campi
Col. 1:9-14

SJ Camp said...

littlegal
Blogging has made such an impact, it seems as though it's been here "forever." Blogging is a formidable medium, a powerful medium, a valid medium, and a medium with staying-power, especially when it is substantiated by the Word;

Well said and thank you.

SJ Camp said...

karen...
Wise words from both you and John MacArthur!

Anytime I am mentioned with John is an honor. His words are so apt for today's discussion. Seasoned with grace for others encouragement and I am so glad you found them to be so.

SJ Camp said...

mike r
We must never forget that we battle not with flesh and blood, but with the powers of darkness. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement.

That is front lines strategery at its best (Eph. 6:10-19).

May we be quick to forgive, quick to admit wrong, quick to guard the trust and the truth; and the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

The world is reading and they are watching. May we all be mindful of such responsibility.

I appreciate you brother,
Steve
Phil. 2:1-5

SJ Camp said...

only look
This is an unfortunate occurance, but there always is a cost when he calls us to surrender our rights and to love as He has loved us and been patient with us.

Bingo!

SJ Camp said...

godplezur
This was a good issue to bring up, and I can see you were faithful in trying to bring restoration.

That was my motive at least; don't know how the Lord will use it, but I pray He will.

Going tit for tat back and forth just to argue is counterproductive.. isn't it? Good debate, vigorous dialogue around God's Word I crave and live for. But so much of what I have read on this issue is not edifying and certainly not helpful.

I appreciate your prayers and encouragement here.

Good to have you post,
Steve

SJ Camp said...

doulos
I know we blog, and live miles apart, but email addresses are easily obtainable, and phone calls could easily be exchanged. As I've said in other blog comments, I'm an attorney (please forgive me) and I don't see "legal" defamation in Ken's "offending" post.

Amen! I know that the other blogger was only saying he was alerting the ISP like he would a store clerk. But the argument falls apart; brothers in the Lord Jesus are not widgets you may return :-). There is a higher standard we must adhere to (Matt. 5:23-24; Roms. 12:18) which trumps corporate concerns or our rights to act within their guidelines to do so.

"Have this attitude which was also in Christ Jesus our Lord..."

May we not forget that... Humility my brothers, humility.

Thank you for your comment and words of encouragement again.

Steve

Brent said...

2 Timothy 2:24-27 (KJV)


24And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

25In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

26And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Carla said...

Steve,

you said:

"But so much of what I have read on this issue is not edifying and certainly not helpful."

I've read quite a bit on this as well, and will have to agree there. It's funny but so much of what I've read has struck me as so frustrating, more than a few times I've wanted to quickly fire off a reply and point out some rather glaring hypocrisy and inconsistancy. Exactly for the wrong reasons and would do nothing but add more heat. :-(

So, I've remained silent. (and let me tell you, that hasn't been easy)

I assume you're reading Ken - and my hat is off to you brother for handling this the way you have. You've had lots of brothers and sisters praying for this situation and you specifically.

Sadly, this nonsense isn't new, and these kinds of tactics really have no place among the household of faith. There is a better way, a more God honoring way, and as easy as it is to go the way of the world, we need to be far more mindful of the fact that the unsaved DO watch how we handle ourselves in these kinds of situations.

If we say we love Him and serve Him, then we'd better be acting like it when push comes to shove.

Winslowlady said...

Hey Steve, I really appreciate this post today! When people are faceless, Christians need to steer carefully away from letting their guard down to rant and rave. I thought the Scripture you used really spells the correct way to deal with differences--something we all need to remind ourselves of. All those who have commented on this thread convince me that it's possible to dialogue with respect and mutual understanding.

One thing that I am reminded of are all of the "one anothers" in Scripture. If we are considering others as more important than ourselves, and speaking to others with words that build up and encourage, then we grow in communicating in godly, Christ honoring ways--even blogging. I think this reminder needs to go out at least every couple months.
Winslowlady

Ken Silva said...

Carla,

"I assume you're reading Ken"; I am. Hi Carla, it's been a long time. 8^)

"my hat is off to you brother for handling this the way you have. You've had lots of brothers and sisters praying for this situation and you specifically."

Thank you for the kind words in the Lord. And you have stated why it is I've been able to be the way I am--the prayers of faithful saints. I'm sure I'm feeling their effects. Thank you again!

Soli Deo gloria...for real!

SJ Camp said...

Brent
So are the verses that need to be posted on this issue. Thank you so much. Some of my favorite and most convicting.

Powerful.

SJ Camp said...

Carla
If we say we love Him and serve Him, then we'd better be acting like it when push comes to shove.

Amen!

winslowlady
The "one anothers." Excellent! I listed all of them on a post here sometime ago.

Spot on!

Minding the faith,
Campi
2 Peter 1:3-4

Timothy said...

Hi Steve,
Very wise words. I also like your rules of engagement in your sidebar. Very well thought out.

BTW, for some reason, I thought you got out of music back in the 1990s. But then again, after Rich Mullins died, I sort of checked out of CCM myself.
Blessings

SJ Camp said...

timothy
Thanks for your kind and gracious words my brother and for contributing here at COT.

I got out of the industry in 1995 but not out of Christian music ministry. It was a 2 Cor. 6:14 thing to me.

Rich had some great music. He is missed.

VIVIT,
Steve

Carla said...

Ken,

yes it has been a while, brother. I sure do appreciate your ministry though, and you're quite welcome for the prayer. In the work you do for the Lord, I know lots keep you in prayer daily.

:-)

Douglas said...

Thank you Sir for this article.

I have printed it off for my wife & I to read and study together, it contains a wealth of godly wisdom and instruction.

I am very convicted and challenged by it, yet I sense the tone of it as from one who has genuine love and deep compassion, not only for the lost and blind but also for fellow brethren in the LORD.

For me the Christian life is a daily struggle, a daily battle, where I often feel like giving up. At times I am driven to tears of despair. Blokes like that "other blogger" really make me angry and confuse me and I end up saying and doing things I later regret and bring discredit to the name of the LORD Jesus Christ. That shames me more than anything else. So please forgive me for all the sinful things I have said. It seems everywhere one turns these days one comes up against false teachings in one form or another and that makes it even more difficult to stay on the straight and narrow so to speak.

2 Corinthians 7:5For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within.

For me, it seems to be constant conflicts without, fears within.

I am thankful that God grants the gift of repentance, "a repentance without regret, leading to salvation," "made sorrowful according to the will of God."

2 Corinthians 7:9I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. 10For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

Isaiah 26:3You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. 4Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.

Mike Ratliff said...

Littlegal,

Thanks for the encouragement my sister. I have missed being here on Campi's site. The spirit here is so refreshing after being involved in all of this stuff for the last several weeks. I pray you are doing well.

In Christ

Mike Ratliff

SJ Camp said...

Douglous
Thank you for your encouraging words and heartfelt honesty: For me the Christian life is a daily struggle, a daily battle,

You are not alone my brother. None of us have arrived in our walk with the Lord. It is a daily struggle and cross we must bear. This issue typifies that reality doesn't it? It's ok to disagree with each other; it's ok to debate and discuss these hard issues with each other; it's ok for some heat and anger to come out from time to time in the midst of those discussions; but those things should not be used to needlessly fracture or wound another.

Amen?

Battles we will have; how we approach them and solve them speaks more about our faith, then the simple fact that those battles do exist.

I appreciate you Douglous. Keep on!

Steve
Col. 1:9-14

Debbie said...

I Thessalonians 5:11- “Therefore, encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” What a Christ-honoring discussion; one that encourages and instructs in the Word! This is really where the “rubber meets the road”. What a contrast: passionately holding someone accountable to the truth of God’s Word in humility and grace VS. litigation to protect reputation.

Very convicting, for although I may never have entered into litigation to prove myself right, how often have I spent time defending myself as though my reputation is what is ultimately important, rather than defending the Word of God and letting the Lord take care of others and their opinions of me (personalizing his quote) What powerful advice by Dr. MacArthur – powerful because it is so Scriptural!

PuritanReformed said...

Steve:

Amen. It's amazing how people can strive to find "loopholes" in Scripture in order to exonerate themselves from various commands.

Alice said...

Great advice from John MacArthur! And some I've found invaluable from another "Mac" pastor--James MacDonald: The majority of time when stuff happens to you, just let it roll off. If you can't let it roll off you, roll it off onto the Lord. If, in a very few circumstances, that doesn't solve it you go to the person directly, in love, to resolve it.

Or more succinctly from one of his sermons from Philippians (re Euodia & Synteche) "Most of our problems with other people would be solved if we followed this phenomenal piece of counsel: Get.over.it."

Thanks for this good post...

Darren said...

Steve,

These are some great points for all of us to remember. I would like to add one other item that would probably alleviate distraction from the real issues. Olan said, “the false prince of P.E.A.C.E.,” that I assume is referring to Rick Warren. He could of just said, “Rick Warren,” but instead he used a term that could be construed as hyperbole, name-calling, funny, eye-catching, etc. How about Dr. Rick Warren in the way you referenced Dr. John MacArthur. After all, Warren holds a D.Min. from Fuller. Is it held in less esteem than MacArthur’s degree? How about just calling him Rick or the Saddleback pastor?

Agreed, I can call someone who says, “there is no God” a fool and be on firm biblical foundation, but I a not always required to say it to him directly. Yes, “Purpose Driven Pope” and “Purpose Drivel” makes for a catchy title but does it edify the body of Christ? Is it noble, pure, right? Let’s stand for truth and go one step further; be really nice!

Your tips are great and I would like to add one more. Whatever you write, pretend that the person to whom it is directed were about to spend three hours on a long car ride with you. How would you address them then? By the way, I have failed on this in the past and trying to do much better.

Respectfully Submitted,

Darren Sapp

P.S. Olan: this is not directed at you personally, but rather blogs at each end of the spectrum.

The Spokesman said...

Debbie: This is really where the “rubber meets the road”. What a contrast: passionately holding someone accountable to the truth of God’s Word in humility and grace VS. litigation to protect reputation.

Here is a truth that I wish all Christians would come to terms with especially in this day of wide-spread apostasy - Christians are to be lovers of truth inspite of consequences! We are not to be interested in self-preservation but in truth promotion. Jesus said that whoever wishes to save his life (those interested in self-preservation) will lose it but whoever would lose his life for Jesus' sake would save it (see Luke 9:24).

Pragmatists and apostates are marked by their methods of self-preservation. They are more interested in "what will work" than in "what is right."

Richard Abanes is interested in self-preservation: By way of introduction, I am an award-winning, bestselling author/journalist with twenty books published by major publishing houses. My public reputation, therefore is of paramount importance to my livelihood and career. Mr. Silva, with no regard for factual information, has posted on his apprising.org website:
- defamatory accusations,
- baseless commentary that impugns my personal/professional integrity, and
- factual errors about my published materials
. Source

Here is a short clip from a sermon I just preached this past Sunday night on The Dangers of Self-Preservation.

SJ Camp said...

Alice:
"Most of our problems with other people would be solved if we followed this phenomenal piece of counsel: Get.over.it."

Well said. Amen!

SJ Camp said...

debbie
What a Christ-honoring discussion; one that encourages and instructs in the Word!

Praise the Lord! That was the prayer for this... Thank you so much for your encouragement.

Campi

SJ Camp said...

darren
Your tips are great and I would like to add one more. Whatever you write, pretend that the person to whom it is directed were about to spend three hours on a long car ride with you. How would you address them then?

Excellent. That is a good visual that I need to keep in my mind's eye as well.

Thank you!

SJ Camp said...

puritanreformed
t's amazing how people can strive to find "loopholes" in Scripture in order to exonerate themselves from various commands.

"Loopholes in Scripture..." Doesn't that some up one of our problems in the church today? We look for loopholes as opposed to obedience and submission to its truth.

rosemarie said...

Well said, Steve. I hate it when God's people forget who they belong to. Here's something I used to teach students who were in conflict:

The world answers you back in your own tone of voice, God's own should answer with grace.

Convicting myself...
Rosemarie

Richard Abanes said...

With all do respect, Steve, I have placed a response to your article here, up at my website. I would ask that you read it and consider the accuracy of your article in light of it.

http://abanes.com/RA_SC_KS.html

R. Abanes

Douglas said...

"Amen?"

Yes Steve, amen. Once again, thanks.

As soon as I had finished typing the above this verse came to mind:

Ecclesiastes 12:11
The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd.

Deb_B said...

"With all do respect, Steve, I have placed a response to your article here, up at my website."

With equal all due respect, Richard, I have read both your various recent comments and your article. However, your actions regarding Ken Silva's website are roaring so loudly in my ears, it drowns out your many subsequent explanations.

You have, Richard, violated clear-cut Biblical mandates. Unfortunately, continuing to wrest Scripture out of its equally clear contextual meaning to avoid the consequences of your un-Biblical actions simply isn't going to change that fact.

I do not know either you or Ken Silva personally.

I do so hope and pray you will do that which is right and pleasing in the the eyes of God.

Beyond that, there's not much left to write or say.

Richard Abanes said...

DEB: You have, Richard, violated clear-cut Biblical mandates. Unfortunately, continuing to wrest Scripture out of its equally clear contextual meaning to avoid the consequences of your un-Biblical actions simply isn't going to change that fact.

RA: I'm sorry, Deb, but I haven't. It is being misapplied and mishandled by others to advance an agenda.

In my response to Steve, I quote from four respected commentaries and a well-respected Greek dictionary to make my point. If you wish to not accept what scripture says, that is your choice.

RAbanes

Richard Abanes said...

STEVE: Doesn't that some up one of our problems in the church today? We look for loopholes as opposed to obedience and submission to its truth.

RA: I am taking the scriptures quite literally. It is everyone else who seems to be trying to find loopholes into which they can slip something into the situation that doesn't belong here. And in doing so, they are ignoring the clear, biblical texts, and forcing their own extra-biblical meanings into the passages.

RAbanes

Coram Deo said...

"It is everyone else who seems to be trying to find loopholes into which they can slip something into the situation that doesn't belong here."

Wow! That's what I'd call painting with a pretty broad brush! But to be honest I've been reading variations on this theme emanating from RA with alarming regularity throughout this recent dust up:

Ken Silva's stubborness is to blame.

"Taking sides" is to blame.

"Everyone else" is wresting scriptures to "advance an agenda".

I'm sorry but the hubris on display here is simply breathtaking.

Do such a statements strike anyone else as sounding eerily familiar? To me it sounds exactly like the first resort of the redhanded - namely blameshifting.

And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. (Genesis 3:12)

In Him,
CD

Deb_B said...

"RA: I'm sorry, Deb, but I haven't. It is being misapplied and
mishandled by others to advance an agenda."


No, it isn't. Here are the inescapable facts our Lord has given us in the contextual, accumulative evidences of His written word, the Bible:

What you did to Ken Silva was not self-denying. It was self-serving. Love does not take into account a wrong suffered (whether real or perceived). Moreover, why not rather be wronged? [1 Cor 13; 1 Cor 6]

There is simply no way to avoid the entirety of those passages in context. I wish I could personally find a way to avoid and explain them away myself when I believe I have been wronged - if only I rose to earnestly contend for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints as swiftly as my carnally-minded "old man" always wants to rise to defense of self ... then there is always the inescapable Scriptural fact: when I know the right thing to do and fail to do it, I have sinned. [James 4:17]

God simply hasn't left us any "wiggle room" where our feeble attempts at self-defense are concerned. Come and die to self and trust God to take care of the rest where being wronged is at issue. Walking by the indwelling Spirit so that God be exalted and glorified in my heart and life is what matters most.

So, then, I must ask myself before re-acting out of my carnally-minded desire to defend self, "which way is self-serving and which way is self-denying?" Once I know the answer to that, I know which way is pleasing to our Lord and which way is sinful pandering to my carnally-minded "old man".

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." [Mark 8:34; Matt 16:24; Luke 9:23]

The clear message of our Lord Jesus Christ is to come and die to self daily, to walk by the indwelling Holy Spirit, so I won't fulfill the carnally-minded, self-serving desires of my "old man".

You can continue to defend yourself here and elsewhere, Richard, but that is what it is: self-defense ... and our Lord does not allow us that privilege. Come and die, that is what we are allowed.

Come and die to self, be wronged and trust in the sovereignty of God to care for His own. He numbers the hairs on my head, not a sparrow falls from the sky and escapes Jehovah God's omnipotent knowledge, so if I am wronged and treated unjustly, He knows it.

In closing, turning the focus God-ward, rather than to simply ask, "Which way is self-serving and which way is self-denying?", why not go even further and ask, "Which way is most glorifying to God and which way is least glorifying to God?" Considering, of course, that my chief end is to glorify God.

Richard, the Biblical answer is very clear.

Richard Abanes said...

Coram: I'm sorry but the hubris on display here is simply breathtaking.

RA: Ohhh, I see. And the opposite, however, is not true, when others put the blame elsewhere. That is not "hubris on display," that is just the truth. Okay. Interesting.

Very well. The truth is out there for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see. And that is what is important. God is in control, which is UTTERLY fine by me. :-)

RA

SJ Camp said...

To All:
I just got in a bit ago from running way too many errands today, but my kids are always worth it.

Just read RA's open letter to me; just read all the other comments here; just looked over a flood of emails as well.

Here is my initial thought before I have some dinner, a lot of coffee, and think through my responses:

Let's keep the tone on the high road that it has been this entire thread so far. If ANYONE does not honor this here, your comment(s) will be deleted. This is too important of an issue to go the way other blogs have gone.

As you know, good, solid, vigorous debate and dialogue on doctrine, theology and specific passages biblically is what this blog in part is known for. That's great. But the other won't be tolerated.

I thought I would mention this now then wait for more comments to come and maybe see this train get derailed a bit.

Grace and peace to all...
Yours for the Master's use,
Steve
2 Cor. 4:5-7

Patrick Eaks said...

I do not have a dog in this fight, I do not know Mr. Silva or Mr. Abanes, but I will make a few observations.

1. As my Pastor always used to say, “Defenses are not of the Lord”, anyone who had to go to all the work that Mr. Abanes did to prove his point, in my opinion is putting up a defense.

2. Mr. Abanes said in his response to SJC: “filing complaints with ISPs (which might be akin to complaining to a store manager about an employee, or going to a supervisor about a co-worker, or calling a cop about some neighbor playing loud music at all hours of the morning)”. In my opinion this is not apples to oranges. If the store clerk were a brother in the Lord, then I would not go to the manager, I would go to him (the store clerk) out of Christian charity and common courtesy (Do we need a direct scripture to be kind one to another?) and speak to him about it. This would help in a sanctification issue with a brother, without getting him in trouble with his employer. (Unless Mr. Abanes is suggesting he is judging Mr. Silva to be a non believer then his statement would be apples to apples!)

Thanks to Steve for this encouraging blog. Brothers continue to “earnestly contending for the faith which was once delivered to the saints”.

Patrick

SJ Camp said...

patrick
Thank you brother.
Amen!

Carl said...

Richard,
My question is this: When you say that IPOWER " "investigate" promptly and take "appropriate" action", do you believe that they really did look into your allegations and agree with your assesment of Mr. Silva's article or do you think that IPOWER could have sent you a boiler plate response that they typically use a a reply when threatened with a lawsuit or in your case an implied threat of legal action? Just as you say that you used a template ISP complaint form to send your letter to IPOWER?

In light of this possibility. Which is a very real possibility when companies are faced with the possibility of legal action. Often times companies will take the path of least resistance and give into the person filing the complaint.

Is it possible that IPOWER actually did zero investigation but sent Ken a standard "template" response that he needed to remove the article or face his website being shut down.

Richard, you said you are after truth here but isnt it a real possibility that by you stating repeatedly that IPOWER agreed with your assesment of libelious and defamatory information being posted about you in the article in question by Mr. Silva, that you are perpetuating a lie?

IPOWER's letter to Mr. Silva says the following:

http://apprising.org/2008/07/just-the-facts-about-richard-abanes-and-the-old-apprising-ministries-web-site/

"We have been advised by a visitor to your web site (at: HTTP://www.apprising.org) that such web site contains content that is alleged to be untrue, offensive, slanderous, harassing or controversial in nature."

"However, when we become aware of allegations of improper activity by one of our customers using a hosted site, which would be a violation of our Terms of Service (TOS) governing the web sites, we take such situations seriously, investigate promptly, and take appropriate action."

Notice the words alleged and allegations. Nowhere does IPOWER state that they agree with your assesment of Mr. Silva's article. Yes, it does say that they "investigate promptly" but there is not supporting evidence or specific violations that they give that they state are TOS violations. Again, this letter simply may be a standard, template letter that IPOWER sends when a complaint is filed.

IN conclusion, I find it dishonest of you for you to continue to state that IPOWER agrees with you based solely on the letter that was sent to Mr. Silva by IPOWER. The letter simply does not support your assertions. Like much of this, I find you are warping this letter to try and booster your already flawed defense of your un-Christ like actions in this case.

Carla said...

I've read the "open letter" and honestly what I see is a lot of self-defense for what apparently, a lot of people are seeing as a situation NOT handled in a God honoring way.

There is a Biblical way to handle these things and when it is ignored in favor of man's reasoning and man's logic, what follows is what we've all watched unfold. A disturbing mess.

I know others have pointed this out but I'm going to point right back to it as well because truth matters. IF a brother has sinned against you (and it would appear that this is what RA believes happened to him, by a brother) then the Scriptures are very clear that we are to go to that brother privately (was this done?) and bring this offense up with him IN THE HOPES that it will be resolved.

This is the first step in such a conflict like this. Was this done? Was open and honest discussion ever attempted? Why did this article sit for 3 years before ever being addressed? Could a private discussion have resolved some or all of these issues before RA ever chose to make it public and/or run to the ISP? A lot of questions, I realize, but all of them would have been avoided had STEP ONE been taken earnestly and honestly.

I don't know the motives for not addressing this biblically, but we all see the result. Even if a mutual agreement couldn't have been reached by PRIVATE discussion between these two parties, it's entirely possible that it could have come to the 'agree to disagree' point and been left alone.

Just thinking outloud here. Obviously none of us know the private details or likely even all of the details, but I believe it bears repeating (over and over and over again, if need be) that we MUST follow Biblical mandate for resolving conflicts among the household of faith. No excuses, no loopholes, and no "but he pushed me first".

For what it's worth...

Tak178 said...

I don't have much to say on this one, Campi. Well said.

~Dave

SJ Camp said...

Carla
I think those are fair and honest questions. Good insights. I would very much like to hear RA's response to your inquiries.

I would also like to hear specifically from RA the exact words KS used that he considered to be slanderous and inappropriate. Among the myriad of articles I have seen I don't recall that being simply and succinctly stated.

Dave
Thank you for your encouragement brother.

VIVIT,

Campius Maximus
(sorry, watching "Gladiator" while commenting) :-).

gigantor1231 said...

Mr. Abanes

You are missing the point in S.J.'s blog with regards to the dust up between you and Ken Silva. The point is that it is not about you but about Christ, it is about doing what is right and glorifying the one and only living God!
I have read through some of your defenses with regards to your actions and to be honest with you I have yet to see, or hear you say that you have done the right thing. So, why not do the right thing now? Contact Ken Silva and set the issue right before God, him and you? I will say a prayer for you on this one Rich. Don't let the importance of your reputation and public image cause you to stumble, remember, just as John the Baptist declared in John 3 "I must decrease that He might increase", Jesus image and reputation is far more important than yours!
By the way, I read in your defense, with regards to telling the ISP that you would seek the council of your attorneys if they did not act, you tried to make the point that you did not tell them what you were going to seek your attorneys council for. Your intent was quite obvious in making that kind of statement and that was to intimidate! Come on Rich, set the record straight, don't manipulate things. One of the first things that I look for in any author or public figure is their honesty and willingness to be forthright and transparent, so, take the high road my friend.

Richard Abanes said...

This Open Letter to Steve Camp outlines my thoughts/intentions, Bible Study notes, documentation of Ken Silva’s violation of federal laws, etc. It should answer most questions and addressed Steve's article. It is my final word on this issue. Those who have ears to ear and eyes to see will both hear and see.

R. Abanes
Pop Culture Mix

Richard Abanes said...

Carla, sorry, I didn't see your post, or SJ's desire for a response. You noted: "There is a Biblical way to handle these things and when it is ignored in favor of man's reasoning and man's logic, what follows is what we've all watched unfold."

In my open letter to Steve, I provided a a study regarding the verses he quotes in his article. I discuss what the Bible says in those noted passages, and well, what it says does not apply to this particular situation -- and I explained why in my open letter.

And Gigantor, you stated: "Rich, set the record straight, don't manipulate things. One of the first things that I look for in any author or public figure is their honesty and willingness to be forthright and transparent, so, take the high road my friend."

What is amazing to me here is that you and others will NOT accept what I say with regard to what my thoughts/intentions and feelings were/are regarding that email. because YOU might have felt differently if YOU had sent that email, then YOU put YOUR thoughts on me.

Well, sorry, my friend. But I have told you MY personal inner thoughts/intentions. If you wish to call me a liar (which you can't really justify because you cannot read my heart/mind), then that is your choice.

I have UPDATED that Letter, btw, Steve, to more fully bring out Silva's illegal activities and callous disregard for the laws of the land that are designed to protect us all.

This firestorm his his doing, not mine. What it shows me is the sad and sickened state of the certain sectors of the the Church. Iyt's all been very disturbing indeed, with "Christians" sending me emails filled with:

- threats
- profanity/obscenity
- condemnations of me to hellfire
- warnings that I need Jesus or else

Think about that. And they all mentioned how they love Ken Silva and read his posts/blog and are blessed and with him, are standing for truth. What does that tell us? I'll let all of you answer that.

R. Abanes
Pop Culture Mix

SJ Camp said...

Richard
Good morning sir. Good to have you frequent my blog and you are welcome anytime here to discuss any issue from the context of God's Word. Though we may disagree on some of the particulars surrounding this matter, you are my brother in the Lord and I respect the fact you are willing to try and answer and clear up some cloudy things and important questions surrounding this unfortunate issue.

1. You mentioned that Christians have been emailing you containing: - threats
- profanity/obscenity
- condemnations of me to hellfire
- warnings that I need Jesus or else.

This is unfortunate and should not be happening. I would be shocked and surprised if any of the many who contribute to this site would be in that number. I am sorry this has happened to you.

2. I believe your examples you use to justify you actions with your ISP are apples and oranges compared to the biblical duty we all have to each other in the Lord. I too have been in restaurants or retail outlets where a waiter or store employee have not provided courteous or responsible service. I have also mentioned them to their managers and have left it with them for resolve. Fair enough.

But in this case, Ken and you have had dialogue before. He is not "faceless" to you. He is in public ministry as you are and you know each other to be brothers in the Lord Jesus Christ. That trumps an ISP's offer to you to lodge a complaint against a drive-by. IOW, this is not about the food coming to the table under-cooked or the new battery not working, this is about theological and doctrinal issues that effect the greater body of Christ (as I understand it in part, Rick Warren's convictions in ministry and your perceived identification with him).

3. May I humbly suggest to you a possible alternative in how to handle other situations like this that may arise in the future:

a. contact the person directly where there is an offense. Matt. 18 and Matt. 5 are dealing with personal issues between confessing believers in the Lord Jesus that may have public ramifications. For you to suggest that there is a loophole in your duty to your brother on the public/private nature of an offense is not consistent with these verses.

b. if personal contact between you and the party in question does not produce resolve and where need be, corrections, then may I encourage you to have one of your pastors/elders attempt to bring resolve as well by involving them. This is very important. When dealing with doctrinal, theological issues and the personalities associated with them, the potential for divisiveness (as we see here) is profound. None of us are entitled to side step our biblical duty to another in ministry because our ISP provides us with a means to log a complaint. There is a greater principle at work here - reconciliation. Not just venting, not just using ISP rules (which, btw, are not law, they are an ISP's own ideological standards) to let your thoughts be known (justified or not justified) - the Word of God to each other trumps those ideological biases.

Your pastors would be helpful to you in that to provide biblical counsel. (If you don't mind me asking, where do you go to church and who is your pastor?)

c. If all attempts to clear up any situation of this nature has been tried, then, letting the other party know in advance due to their unwillingness to honor the process set forth by Scripture and come to reason together for resolve, that you are left with no alternative but to directly contact your ISP and will leave the results to them.

I do agree with you, that you have not filed a lawsuit against Ken, nor did you have an attorney pursue litigation on any level towards him. But again my brother, the aftermath of this scenario has not brought honor to the gospel of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and you are part of that in how you have conducted yourself. That is not an accusation; just a statement of fact.

4. Lastly, just because an ISP gives you a "voice" on issues, it doesn't mean they must be exercised. This is where the "why not rather be wronged" principle comes in. You have the right to be wronged RA. And the Lord will honor you and guard you if in obedience to His Word, and for His glory, and for the good of His people would lay down "your rights" and trust in Him who judges justly when it comes to the insults or slanders by others.

I would appeal to you to look at the example of Christ in this (Roms. 15:1-5; Isaiah 53; 1 Peter 2:18ff; Heb. 12:2; Phil. 2:5-11, etc.).

5. Lastly, what is the spiritual fruit of this situation? Confusion, more attacks, anger, gossip, malice, division, ministries impacted, etc. This is not good nor honoring to the Lord.

Have I arrived at these principles in my life? Not at all. Am I the example to follow in this scenario? I am not suggesting that one bit. But when Jesus Christ is kept in view and His Word honored; when our sole goal in all things is not our rights, but His glory - it does make a difference in how we respond to others - even if we have a legal, moral, ethical right to do so and even if we feel justified in doing so.

I am not speaking to you as a Monday morning quarterback my brother. I have walked through some very intense fire over the last several years... I have been wronged, falsely spoken of, my name begrimed; and personally hurt deeply, etc. But I am so grateful to the Lord that I didn't rise to my "rights" to have at it with those who did such things to me. I was free to forgive, free to move on and and free to trust my name and reputation and ministry to the Lord. And I saved myself some years of bitterness and strife as well.

This article of Ken's is three years old. Only you know why you chose now to make an issue of this. But I would hope in the aftermath of this incident, that you would do all you can do to be at peace with Ken and mend the breach.

Let the body of Christ see you both reconcile with more intensity than the offence that has come between you. I for one say SDG if that would happen and I am going to pray that it does. Will you pray with me to that end?

We are great sinners RA, but He is a greater Savior.

I hope you take all this in the spirit in which it was intended. Thank you for all you do for the kingdom and the furtherance of His gospel.

Grace and peace.

I remain:
Yours for the Master's use,
Steve
Col. 1:9-14

Deb_B said...

Richard, you wrote:

"My Christian critics, therefore, are left with trying to show where in the text of 1 Corinthians 6, it says that we, as Christians, cannot sue "heathen," "godless," "secular," "worldly" institutions when a wrong has been committed. Answer: Nowhere."

Here is your Biblical precedent, for if ever there was justification, our perfect incarnate Lord Jesus had it ... but did not exercise that prerogative:

"For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
[1 Peter 2:20-5]

As to those professing to Christianity who have used profanity and responded inappropriately, that is sinful and I do not subscribe to such things. It is unfortunate you have been on the receiving end of comments such as you described.

That notwithstanding, I simply do not agree with your methodology in addressing your grievance with Ken Silva. I do not concur with your remedy, Richard, because I believe it goes beyond and outside the bounds of that which our Lord has prescribed in the canon of Scripture.

I hope and pray the issue may be ultimately resolved in a manner which is glorifying to our Lord and edifying to the collective Body of Christ, my brother.

Darren said...

Many of you that have disagreed with Mr. Abanes approach, might be on firm ground. Have you taken the time to read original 2005 article in question? I am not suggesting it justifies any of the back and forth blogging that has gone on here, but it does raise several questions.

Was Ken's article needed? Does it edify the church? Does is stand for biblical truth? Is it on the high gound of theological debate or personal? Could Ken have just e-mailed Richard rather than write this article. Could we ask similar questions about the preceding articles by each party?

Here is my point; Ken is a brother in Christ and he and I have disagreed a few times in the past. I am sure there are times where I was wrong and he was right and vice versa. Were Ken and I having coffee and discussing this, I would tell him that articles like that stir up strife and he might get some back.

Steve had some great points in this article and my favorite was:

5. Don't make it personal, stay on message

Darren Sapp

Ken Silva said...

Richard Abanes: I have UPDATED that Letter, btw, Steve, to more fully bring out Silva's illegal activities and callous disregard for the laws of the land that are designed to protect us all.

This firestorm his his doing, not mine. What it shows me is the sad and sickened state of the certain sectors of the the Church. Iyt's all been very disturbing indeed, with "Christians" sending me emails filled with:

- threats
- profanity/obscenity
- condemnations of me to hellfire
- warnings that I need Jesus or else

Think about that. And they all mentioned how they love Ken Silva and read his posts/blog and are blessed and with him, are standing for truth. What does that tell us?

If my "Assessment" opinion piece is to be considered a personal attack and "libel"? I wonder, what is the above to be considered?

SJ Camp said...

Ken:
RA: "I have UPDATED that Letter, btw, Steve, to more fully bring out Silva's illegal activities and callous disregard for the laws of the land that are designed to protect us all."

I don't support that statement at all. And I do think he wrongly characterized this situation and you in those remarks. Using the word "callous" is an obvious judgment of motive that is out of bounds. I also tried to deal with "the law" aspect in my lengthy comment above. ISP proclivities are not laws: they are corporate moorings. That is why so many ISPs have differing policies on this very issue. There is no uniform code of conduct currently accepted by all ISPs in the blogosphere.

If my "Assessment" opinion piece is to be considered a personal attack and "libel"? I wonder, what is the above to be considered?

I do agree and that is more than a fair statement.

Continue to take the high road brother. You are a godly man and faithful pastor. May the Lord give us all the grace necessary to respond in ways that honor Him and bring regard for His truth and gospel.

Grace and peace to you my brother and yokefellow,

Steve
2 Cor. 4:5-7

Ken Silva said...

Hello Steve,

You may rest assured that all I was doing is bringing out that particular question that people might think about it.

God knows I am telling the truth when I say that I really have nothing against Richard; I just think he's quite wrong. As for me personally I'm resting in 1 Corinthians 15:10.

SJ Camp said...

Ken
I understand and forgive me if my comment to you suggested otherwise.

I so appreciate you brother and thank the Lord for you.

VIVIT,
Steve

Ken Silva said...

Steve,

Not to be concerned, I perceived your comment as positive. I was simply assuring you that I wasn't going to be engaging Richard here is all. 8^)

IMHO, Richard sees what he sees and so he and God will need to work it out from here.

Richard Abanes said...

STEVE,

First, thank you for being one of the ONLY people who have spoken to me in a civil/godly tone regarding this issue. And I mean that. It is greatly appreciated.

Second, you note: "Ken and you have had dialogue before." But that is not wholly accurate. We have never spoken to each other privately, only through online discourse (more like poking each other). I published some critiques of him way back in 2005, which I subsequently took down. They haven't been online for 3 years. And yet his articles addressing those writings have been up since then--despite the fact that they haven't even existed online since 2005. I can only wonder why he's bothered to even leave up his articles, since my original articles have long been gone.

Third, you say, "He is in public ministry as you are and you know each other to be brothers in the Lord Jesus Christ." Actually, we don't know each other at all. I actually know more about you than I know about him. And given what he has said about me online, he also doesn't know a thing about me.

Fourth, you observed, "this is not about the food coming to the table under-cooked or the new battery not working, this is about theological and doctrinal issues that effect the greater body of Christ." Herein lies what I see as the heart of the initial article in question. It does NOT contain anything about my doctrinal views -- NOTHING. I point this out in my Open Letter to you.

Fifth, you mention, "I understand it in part, Rick Warren's convictions in ministry and your perceived identification with him." Steve, I cannot say this any clearer, this has NOTHING to do with Silva's stand on Warren. I know plenty of people who stand against Rick Warren and I get along fine with them. I know public figures who are ADAMANTLY against Rick Warren -- e.g., Lutheran Todd Wilken, host of Issues Etc. -- and we get along fine. IN fact, I was just on Todd Wilken's program a few days ago talking about the heresy and false Nnew Age teachings of Eckhart Tolle and Oprah Winfrey. SO, clearly, this is NOT an issue of Silva's views on Rick Warren. I disagree with him, but that was in no way a factor in this incident.

Sixth, you suggested, "May I humbly suggest to you a possible alternative in how to handle other situations like this that may arise in the future." Good suggestion and I take it. Thank you. I doubt that it such a course of action will be fruitful, but sure, I am open to that.

Seventh, you noted, "Matt. 18 and Matt. 5 are dealing with personal issues between confessing believers in the Lord Jesus that may have public ramifications." I understand you feel very strongly that these verses are applicable to the situation. But I respectfully disagree, and there are plenty of other godly, biblically astute, God-loving, Christ-honoring believers/scholars who would agree with me.

Eighth, you reiterate, " if personal contact between you and the party in question does not produce resolve and where need be, corrections, then may I encourage you to have one of your pastors/elders attempt to bring resolve as well by involving them." I say again, I understand your viewpoint, but I disagree about this issue being a matter covered by Matthew 18! And in my Open Letter to you, I even quote from two different Online Discernment Ministries that basically say what i am saying -- i.e., Matthew 18 covers personal/PRIVATE sins between brothers.

Ninth, you say, "the aftermath of this scenario has not brought honor to the gospel of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and you are part of that in how you have conducted yourself. That is not an accusation; just a statement of fact." Might I suggest that there woudl BE no aftermath if ken Silva would not have violated federal copyright/privacy laws by posting my private email to the Internet. Also, there owuld BE no aftermath if he would have just: a) followed the request of his ISP; b) re-written the article so as to actually be about my doctrinal views (rather than my personal/professional character). I have issued this challenge in COUNTLESS places online, including my open letter to you:

“If Ken Silva wishes to place another article up titled “A PASTOR’S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES,” which actually critiques my theology, then my all means, I welcome it.”

“I challenge ANYONE to find ANY criticisms, observations, corrections in that Ken Silva article that discusses my theology or doctrinal beliefs. Such material is not there. That article was personal in all its attacks. It was nothing more than an article deliberately designed to impugn my personal/professional integrity.”

Tenth, "Lastly, what is the spiritual fruit of this situation? Confusion, more attacks, anger, gossip, malice, division, ministries impacted, etc. This is not good nor honoring to the Lord." I agree!!! I kept this private. Just answer me, Steve: Who made this a public issue? Who made this a public issue?

Eleventh, you said, "This article of Ken's is three years old. Only you know why you chose now to make an issue of this." Actually, I have staed online in man, many places EXACTLY why it took me three years to lodge a complaint. I quote from my post over at Monday Morning Insights. There are FOUR reasons I waited so long

1. Soon after the article went up, I left the world of interacting with the online apologetic/discernment camp—for two years! This was primarily due to the utter disgust I felt over how these so-called online “watchmen” were acting.

SO, I went away, hoping and praying for two years that something would change. But much to my horror, two years later, things had only gotten worse. That brought me up to December 2007, when I again started interacting with the online apologetic/discernment camp.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. Back in 2005, no one was really even aware of that Ken Silva article, or aware of Ken Silva. There was no real reason to address it—few people would be influenced by it.

But fast forward two years, and the online apologetic/discernment camp has grown and INFECTED (as in a disease) large segments of the Christian church with its hate, misuse of scripture, personal attacks, trumped up charges against fellow believers, divisiveness, half-truths, double-standards, hypocrisy, intolerance, and mean-spirited attempts to destroy the personal. professional, and ministerial reputation of those they see as “the enemy.”

And THAT is exactly what the article by Ken Silva was intended to do. It was not written to critique my doctrine: theology, soteriology, eschatology, thanatology. It was meant to harm me personally. And that is not the only such article out there.

So far, I have repeatedly posted a challenge online that no one, not even Ken Silva has taken up, and I’ll post it again here:

“If Ken Silva wishes to place another article up titled “A PASTOR’S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES,” which actually critiques my theology, then my all means, I welcome it.”

“I challenge ANYONE to find ANY criticisms, observations, corrections in that Ken Silva article that discusses my theology or doctrinal beliefs. Such material is not there. That article was personal in all its attacks. It was nothing more than an article deliberately designed to impugn my personal/professional integrity.”
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

3. The popularity of that article had grown to the point where I felt it was indeed harming my personal, professional, and ministerial reputation. Consequently, something had to be done about it. And the step I took was actually VERY, VERY mild. Mr. Silva and his supporters have blown this matter WAY out of proportion, and to do so, they have had to resort to yet more misrepresentations of me, my actions, and my intentions.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

4. The time has come for these people to be held accountable and responsible for the unnecessary, unbiblical,and ungodly division in the Body of Christ that they have been causing. My email to Ken Silva’s ISP was as attempt to help bring about at least a modicum of accountability/responsibility.

Finally, I do appreciate your words of thought, opinion, an counsel. Many years ago, your song "He's All You Need" became my song of inspiration and personal healing. I performed it many places, and has always been a great blessing to me. Since I saw your article, I have again been humming it all around the apartment. Thank you for your ministry. Thank you for your example of a servant's heart. Thank you for your ministry of music.

R. Abanes

gigantor1231 said...

Mr. Abanes

The bottom line here is that you have chosen a course of action that produces worldly results, you chose worldly methods! You are defending your rights and your self importance. How am I wrong in this assessment Richard?
A door has been opened wide to resolve your issues with Mr. Silva, it sounds to me like he is willing to get together over this thing. So, why don't you take him up on it? What is stopping you?
I think that you will find that the benefits of taking the latter course of action will bring much more benefit to you and all parties involved. Set a example Richard, humble yourself and go to your brother in Christ.

Richard Abanes said...

KS: Silva's illegal activities and callous disregard for the laws of the land

RA: Ken, I provide documentation that shows you DID indeed violate the laws of the land. If you find the use of my word callous, then I apologize for that. But it appears that you have absolutely no regard for these particular federal laws, as evidenced by your actions, past and continuing actions.
_____________________
STEVE: Using the word "callous" is an obvious judgment of motive that is out of bounds.

RA: I retract it and apologize publicly. It seems he has been callous, but if you can attribute such blatant violations of the law to something else, then fine. I can accept another reason for his actions. Exactly what that reason might be is debatable.
______________________
STEVE: {If my "Assessment" opinion piece is to be considered a personal attack and "libel"? I wonder, what is the above to be considered?} I do agree and that is more than a fair statement.

RA: Well, Silva did violate federal laws -- and I document that. So that is not a question.

As for my use of the word "callous," that is a subjective call. But Silva seems to find this libelous, so is he saying, then, that his own subjective calls and personal attacks in his "assessment" article (which go quite a bit farther than this statement by me) are also libelous? If that's the case, then what is he complaining about?

His statement here would seem to indicate that he is now agreeing that his article, like my above statement, is libelous since his article includes nothing but end-on-end personal, subjective opinions about my character, morality/ethics, and Christian faith/spiritual maturity. Is there no free pass for me, Steve?

RAbanes

Timothy said...

Hi Steve,
I've watched the last several days as these comments have been posted and I don't think via the internet, will there be any resolution at this point. I don't know if you can, or will, but my suggestion is to kill the thread for now. Sometimes, we have to make like Barnabus and Paul, and go our separate ways and give the Holy Spirit time to work on our hearts.

Just a suggestion out of sense of brother love.
Blessings

SJ Camp said...

To All

This is a comment from another blog who linked to me here. I thought this brother shared some helpful things for us all and that is why I am mentioning it to the readers here at COT.

"Thank you Steve. I wonder if this is another example of a new technology getting the best of us.

Maybe we have jumped into this blog discourse before we thought it through. In the old days Mr Silva would have written an article in a magazine, then Mr Abanes would have written a letter to the editor or picked up the phone and talked to his brother. There was no technology that would have allowed the conflict between Christian friends to spread like wildfire.

Also, relative anonymity can lead to a lack of discipline and decorum. We have probably all seen a simple matter go south because of an email discussion complete with quick retorts and carbon copies. I am not saying we do not sometimes need to drop the gloves (Canadian metaphor referring to a hockey fight), and we need our prophets to call out the false teachers among us. After all, Jesus and Paul were way tougher on the inside religious types.

I am saying that when two evangelical 'discernment' apologists get into it, maybe they should put the laptops down and go for coffee."


Something for us all to ponder...
Campi
1 Cor. 13

SJ Camp said...

Timothy
I do understand your suggestion, but I have an unwritten conviction about closing threads. They usually die a natural death; and as long as productive meaningful dialogue still ensues, I think it is goof to hang in there a bit longer.

But, your point is taken.
Campi

SJ Camp said...

Richard
Thank you for your comment and I am very humbled that the Lord would use my songs to encourage others in their lives.

I will further consider all you have expressed here. I still think the greater issue now at hand is in light of all that has been shared, could there be a genuine reconciliation between two brothers in the Lord?

It is a worthy goal don't you think?

Walk in love as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us? To forgive one another as God in Christ has forgiven us?

The bar is set high for us all, and that is why it is a work of grace. (At least in my sin sick heart.)

Campi

David Cho said...

Just a quick question.

What is "VIVIT"?

Only Look said...

Mr Banes:

I guess from a legal perspective and if you feel you have enough proof against Ken then by this world's system, you have the right to file against your brother, but I still see you defending yourself against Matthew 18 and trying to find a legal loophole, when Jesus is trying to get the truth across to us that we are Kingdom subject belonging to a greater citizenship and even if a fellow stock boy who is a believer starts to give you a hard time, then the life of Christ gives us incentive not to turn to the world to solve your problems, since he never did and to settle with whatever adversary you have along the way. You are losing the whole point of Steve's article of losing your rights when we become a blood bought child of God.

The bottom line is...do you believe you are being Holy Spirit led or legally led?

There was a time when I got upset with Steve and could it have been his choice he could have pulled me before the magistrates, but he didn't and instead took it to his Heavenly Father and allowed the Holy Spirit to work in my life.

Boy can God's Spirit move in a way that the world never can:-)

In the process I have also witnessed the Spirit of God working in Steve's life as well and it is a beautiful thing to witness. God's way is so much better than the worlds. So you can either seek to be right and turn to the world for justice or lose your rights and give them over to the Lord as Jesus did when He went to the cross.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

Ken Silva said...

"when two vangelical 'discernment' apologists get into it..."

Therein lies the heart of the matter. Seek the Lord as to what I mean.

Only Look said...

Steve...you said:

>They usually die a natural death; and as long as productive meaningful dialogue still ensues, I think it is goof to hang in there a bit longer.<

Amen and sometimes it also seems like that whenever the blog host shuts down the comment stream it looks as if one is getting upset and taking their bat and ball and going home.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

Richard Abanes said...

ONLY: The bottom line is...do you believe you are being Holy Spirit led or legally led?

RA: If I were being legally led, I would have immediately gone to my lawyers, rather than go to Ken's ISP first.

And if I were being legally led, I would go NOW to my lawyers -- not only to issue a complaint about the original article in question, but also to file a criminal complaint against Silva for violating federal copyright/privacy laws that prohibit the online publishing of private emails and prohibit the forwarding of private emails to third parties.

No, my friend, I am not being legally led. And I do appreciate you asking me that question, so I could respond.

Richard Abanes
Pop Culture Mix

Doulos Christou said...

Richard,

Why don’t you give this a rest? You’ve made these points repeatedly - you remind me of my need to tell my teenage kids that they don’t always have to have the last word on every subject. I’ve said this before and I have little hope you’ll respond, but if you think there has been an illegality perpetrated against you, then by all means take it to the authorities or to your church elders to address it with Ken’s church elders.

It isn’t about being “right” but about being Christ-like. In all honesty, can you imagine Jesus doing all of this? With all of your pontification, it seems obvious to me - and I’ve got no skin in this game apart from being a member of the Body of Christ - that you’re actions are at least 3 years late, and you’ve thrown at least as much gas on the flame here as anyone else.

Please consider the Body here. If you’re really feeling wronged, go to the Church. Go to Steve’s church elders. Go to the law if you really think you must… but stop playing the victim here. It’s - well - unseemly.

Just my opinion. I’m sure I’ll be treated to a deluge of comment/rebuttal if you’ve got the nerve to print this.

Deb_B said...

"Walk in love as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us? To forgive one another as God in Christ has forgiven us?"

AMEN!

Brothers mine by grace, please come together in Divine love and be reconciled, as unto our Lord, for His glory.

Coram Deo said...

It's unfortunate that in his final word on the issue RA has willfully chosen to ignore and evade the fundamental question "What did Ken Silva say in the offending article “A PASTOR’S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES” that was deemed so libelous?

And perhaps even more importantly why does RA continue to stand defiantly and unrepentantly in violation of 1 Cor. 6:1-8?

In my opinion the bitter fruit of the Purpose Driven Paradigm is evident for all to see through observation of RA's actions throughout this whole sorry episode. Interestingly enough RA's well established pattern of generally un-Christ like comportment is the whole point behind Ken Silva's missive “A PASTOR’S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES”.

RA demands for us to show him where his theology or doctrine were challenged by the offending Silva article, yet the article wasn't concerned with his theology or doctrine; it was concerned with the bitter fruit produced by the Purpose Driven Paradigm of which one Richard Abanes was (and is) "Exhibit A".

In fact Ken's article makes much more sense now than it did when I originally read it because RA has verified the veracity of Ken's claims by demonstrating his well established pattern of behavior throughout this ordeal.

The following quote is taken from Silva's offending article:

From where I stand, it has now become clear to me that Mr. Abanes feels anyone who disagrees with him is simply wrong, no matter what evidence may be presented to him. It is my sincere prayer that the following might cause him to come to a position where he will at least show some semblance of respect for others in the family of Christ with whom he does not agree. Perhaps he might wish to consider Philippians 3:15 – Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you (NKJV).

And in another quote taken from “A PASTOR’S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES” Ken Silva points towards RA's less than charitable and very personal attack on Dr. John MacArthur who is himself on record exposing the bitter fruit of the Purpose Driven Paradigm:

From Tim Challies’ rather revealing interview with Mr. Abanes, we will see an arrogance emerge as he “attacks” (personally?) Dr. John MacArthur. Whatever one may think of every area of Dr. MacArthur’s theological positions, the fact remains that he is widely acknowledged as one of the finest Bible teachers we have in the Christian Church today. Further, MacArthur is also a man who is a senior pastor–and an elder–if you will, within the Evangelical church at large.

And yet, instead of showing Dr. MacArthur the respect his venerable position within Christ’s church would entitle him to, Mr. Abanes says with insolence:

As for John MacArthur, he simply does not know what he is talking about and has shown himself to be a loose cannon when it comes to Warren, The Purpose Driven Life, and Saddleback Church. I am not sure who is feeding him information, but it is false. But perhaps MacArthur just doesn’t care enough about truth to be careful in his own research. Therefore, I fault MacArthur for either: a) not doing his own research; or b) not doing his own research carefully enough before falsely accusing Warren of things that Warren has never taught. (http://www.challies.com/archives/001175.php)


These are strong words against Dr. MacArthur from RA.

They’re personal words.

They’re incendiary words.

In fact prior to Ken Silva's writing of “A PASTOR’S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES” RA had also expressed his obvious disdain for Silva's "research skills".

Interestingly enough there is somewhat of a controversy surrounding RA's own "research skills" as can be easily found online by those interested, however out of respect for SJ I won't link the material in this comment.

Is RA guilty of blame shifting and unrepentantly avoiding his personal responsibility as a professing Christian in the matter before us? Does RA stand defiantly in rebellion of 1 Cor. 6:1-8? I think the facts speak for themselves.

In Christ,
CD

John Brown said...

While I appreciate Steve's attempt at trying to offer good advice for resolution and while it is not bad on the face of it it is not a Biblical mandate as written either. There is nothing that says one must go with his pastor or elder to the other's pastor or elder and invoke church discipline. As if in this case Silva or his pastor assuming he has one (since I believe he is already a pastor) would listen to Abanes' pastor. Again, good advice but not Biblically mandated as suggested.

I also find it curious that in all of the comments and in your blog Steve no mention was made about the publicly threatened lawsuit made by Chris Roseborough against Abanes
Could it be because he, like Silva, have a common enemy in the purpose driven movement so he is off limits? Looking for some consistency here.

Only Look said...

Mr Banes:

Is the Holy Spirit leading you?

Grace upon grace,

Brian

SJ Camp said...

david cho
VIVIT means HE LIVES!

It was used by Luther during the Reformation as part of his Luthersrose emblem.

Campius

Timothy said...

Steve,
Now that is info one can use!
VIVIT!
Blessings

SJ Camp said...

John Brown
While I appreciate Steve's attempt at trying to offer good advice for resolution and while it is not bad on the face of it it is not a Biblical mandate as written either. There is nothing that says one must go with his pastor or elder to the other's pastor or elder and invoke church discipline.

Thank you John for sharing these thoughts here.

When there are differing opinions as to what constitutes a breach of trust between brothers in the Lord as in this scenario, there is "safety in many counselors" - agreed? I would think that pastors/elders from ones church would be a source of wise counsel and could act as such to try and bring resolve that is biblical and honoring to the Lord and His church.

The scope of "Church Discipline" would be limited to and require action within ones own local church or congregation.

I also find it curious that in all of the comments and in your blog Steve no mention was made about the publicly threatened lawsuit made by Chris Roseborough against Abanes
Could it be because he, like Silva, have a common enemy in the purpose driven movement so he is off limits? Looking for some consistency here."


That was not the thrust of my post here nor my concern as to this comment thread. Consistency would demand we address principally this issue and specifically stay focused on this scenario. And as I understand it, that issue was addressed and settled elsewhere.

If you do have a question or comment that would in fact address both, I would do my best to answer you biblically.

Grace and peace,
Steve

SJ Camp said...

Coram Deo
Thank you for your comment brother... Good to have you on the COT today.

I am very familiar with Tim Challies interview he did back a few years ago now with RA. I thought Tim was very generous in how much literary room he gave RA to state his thoughts on several topics.

I also concluded then that RA's conclusions about my friend and mentor, Dr. John MacArthur, were excessive, inflated, condescending, and incendiary as well. John is a very well researched author and pastor. He doesn't miss much in what he preaches and speaks out in interviews to. So I would personally defend Mac here and his views concerning Mr. Warren as well.

Listen, I also think there are problems with Mr. Warren's pragmatism, proof-texting, easy believism gospel presentation, and evangelical co-belligerence surrounding political and social issues. I won't deny that. I do think for me to address those concerns in specific on this thread would be counterproductive at this time.

I do thank you for bringing up Challies interview with RA and would encourage people to read both parts. It does serve as a helpful backdrop to this discussion and the issues at hand.

In His unfailing love,
Steve

John Brown said...

Absolutely no doubt with "safety in many counselors".....as I said "good advice."

As to my issue with Roseborough and the lack of comments (by any and all) towards his threatened lawsuit against Abanes which was posted on the same thread that many have been referring to when criticizing Abanes so many had to see it. IMO they are indeed entwined because they are the same action. The only apparent difference is that Abanes DID apologize to Roseborough for a perceived offense and removed that perceived offense as requested by Roseborough. Silva was not quite so magnanimous.

Perhaps we will just have to agree to disagree.

PS. I bought a turntable with a USB port the other day to digitize my old LP's. I had the pleasure once again to listen to your Justice album. Always one of my favorites. I think it challenged many believers in new ways at the time.

Richard Abanes said...

JOhN: IMO they are indeed entwined because they are the same action.

RA: And I would contend that what Rosebrough did was far worse than what I did:

1. Rosebrough threatened ME personally with his attorneys (while my email was to an ISP, not even to Silva);
2. Rosebrough used EXPLICT/DIRECT threats of legal action against ME personally (while my email, at MOST, unintentionally implied it to an ISP).
3. Rosebrough boldly flaunted his threats to me online for all the world to see (while I attempted to keep my complaint private).

So, tell me, Steve, how in the world is Rosebrough's actions not your "concern as to this comment thread"? How can you say his actions are not relevant to this very issue we are discussing? That makes no sense at all.

Furthermore, you explain away the Rosebrough issue by saying, "And as I understand it, that issue was addressed and settled elsewhere."

My question is: Why is the Silva/Abanes issue NOT settled. As far as I can see it is:

1. I complained to Silva's ISP

2. The ISP investigated and took "appropriate action."

3. Silva refused to follow his ISP's request, which resulted in him getting kicked, and along the way he decided to turn it into a public spectacle, while at the same time violating federal copyright/privacy laws by:

a ) publishing my email to IPOWER online; and
b ) forwarding my private email on to other parties not involved (see my open letter for documentation).

4. His website was placed on another server, including that particular article.

5. He has ignored my obvious desire to have that article taken down.

6. I am certainly not going to sue him over it.

7. He gets everything he wants: the article up, no lawsuit, a new website, free press, something to talk about, the sympathy of the masses.

There. Done. Issue is resolved. It seems just about as settled as the Rosebrough incident with a couple variations:

1. I didn't go screaming "foul" in cyberspace. I apologized and removed the offensive words (numbering precious few).

2. No one in the Online Discernment Ministry camp seem at all bothered by Rosebrough's actions. In fact, an article on Ken Silva's own Christian Research Network titled "Those in Glass Houses" APPLAUDED Rosebrough's actions, describing them as Chris "not laying down and allowing Richard Abanes’ attack against Discernment blogs to go unchallenged."

The hypocrisy and double-standard I am seeing is unbelievable.
____________
STEVE: I also concluded then that RA's conclusions about my friend and mentor, Dr. John MacArthur, were excessive, inflated, condescending, and incendiary as well.

RA: Interestingly, you did not conclude that John MacArthur's complete misrepresentation of Rick Warren's messages was not "excessive, inflated, condescending, and incendiary."

I refer you to my article on MacArthur's flase statements on CNN that I discuss in my article, http://abanes.com/macarthur.html .

I appreciate MacArthur's ministry. I enjoy his preaching on certain issues. I agree with him in many areas. My goodness, he even endorsed one of my books many years ago that dealt with the dangers of the New Age and its infiltration into society via the famous Near Death Experience that once grabbed the fascination of our culture.

But in the area of Warren, I thought he had really gone too far with his criticisms -- and I said so. He, as a pastor, is NOT above correction or rebuke. We cannot take a "touch not God's anointed" approach to everyone who has reached some standing in the Christian church. Yes, this INCLUDES Rick Warren. Accuracy is the issue. Truth and careful accuracy.

Richard Abanes
Pop Culture Mix

Douglas said...

"I am saying that when two evangelical 'discernment' apologists get into it, maybe they should put the laptops down and go for coffee."

Not such a bad idea really. Others have done it in the past by the looks of it.

Friday Frivolity
10/14/05

"Three guesses as to whom I am having lunch with today. Nope. Nope. And nope. Good guesses though. I’m having lunch with Richard Abanes. He is in town on what I suppose is a publicity tour and I guess he thought it would be interesting for the two of us to continue our ongoing discussion face-to-face rather than through emails and book reviews. I hear from Nathan Busenitz that he had lunch with Abanes not too long ago as well, so I guess Richard must be trying to meet many of Warren’s detractors. It should be interesting at any rate. So if there has ever been a question you’ve been dying to ask Abanes but have been too scared, let me know and I’ll ask him on your behalf."

Lunch with Abanes
10/16/05

At church this morning there was a really good message preached, I was very convicted, challenged but also encouraged.

Here is the text for this morning from which the sermon was expounded:

Peter 1-2:3 (NIV)

Be Holy

13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."[a]
17Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.[b] 23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For,
"All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25but the word of the Lord stands forever."[c] And this is the word that was preached to you.

1 Peter 2

1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
a. Lev. 11:44,45; 19:2; 20:7
b. Some early manuscripts from a pure heart

Todays message will be available online at St Johns Anglican Church later on for those who are interested in listening to it. It is very good and I believe it speaks to much of what is being discussed here. There are some good things that come out of Christchurch NZ.

SJ Camp said...

Richard
I just finished reading your article about MacArthur. It was very weak my friend. But I stumbled across something that I think gives weight to what we are discussing here. You said in response to what John was saying on Larry King about Warren:

In other words, to put it in bottom-line terms, MacArthur is saying that Warren is preaching a false gospel (at least that's how it sounds to me).

John didn't say what you implied here at all. He never mentioned that Warren was preaching a false gospel. Not at all. But you gave merit to your own assertions by saying, "at least that's how it sounds to me." The perfect postmodern justification.

I think that is a core issue here RA. I would venture to say that KS's words "sounded like that to you too" but in reality were not slanderous at all. You may not have liked them, disagreed with them, felt challenged or insulted by them, etc. Welcome to the blogosphere. But my brother, IMHO, they were not slanderous to you.

Two things now:

1. Time to move on from the lengthy self-justifying comments (which if you haven't noticed, no one is buying at all here or at other blogs). We all have PhD's in rationalizing our own behavior don't we? All of us do. But this has all been said before and is growing stale.

2. Time to move towards reconciling. What steps are you willing to take with Ken? Biblically, what steps can you take (regardless of Ken's response) that can mend this breach and bring honor to the Lord in this?

There is no skin off anyone's sanctification to put on humility, ask forgiveness where we need to, do whatever it takes to be at peace with all men, to consider the greater glory of Christ more than justifying our own selves and soothing our own bruised egos. Amen?

Battles in the blogosphere will happen. How do we resolve them is key. Not just walk away from them; not just say what we have to say and then move on; but real resolve, real reconciliation, real healing clothed in Christlike grace, charity, and humility.

I could have taken you on, on several key areas brother in something you have said, but chose not to. It's not worth it. I showed you grace in ways you don't even know... Can you show Ken some grace? Would be willing to extend what we used to call "the right hand of fellowship" to Ken and end this thing? Genuinely? I don't want to read another very long self-justifying comment from you - it will be deleted.

Tomorrow is the Lord's Day. What will you do to prepare your heart for true worship and honor Matt. 5:23-24 and go to your brother before coming to the altar of the Lord with your gift of praise to Him?

Feigned worship is much too common to day; faithful worship is a rarity. Do the rare thing; do the hard thing; do the holy thing; do the self-sacrificial thing.

I am not your Holy Spirit RA. You don't owe me a plugged nickel on anything I am encouraging you to do here or saying. I am just a brother in Christ, a wretched sinner saved by grace and being sanctified by grace, coming to you, pleading with you to reconcile with Ken.

Think of the great debt our sin was before the Lord Jesus; think of what it cost Him to reconcile us to God; to forgive us; to cleanse us; to regenerate us; to justify us; to make us new creations in Him?

When we have a right view of the depth of our own sinfulness before a holy God; when we really grasp the greatness of our offense to Him and what it cost Him to forgive us that insurmountable debt of sin; then whatever anyone else may do to us in this life, it is the lesser offense... Amen?

Be reconciled to your brother tonight my friend. Do not wait. Be urgent about it; be determined about it; be resolved about it. And we will all rejoice with you...

His unworthy servant in His unfailing love,
Steve
Colossians 3:10-14

Richard Abanes said...

Steve; .... The perfect postmodern justification.

RA: Well, with that, I think you've pretty much wrapped up this conversation. Me postmodern? Even the hint of that is absurd in the extreme. ROFL. I wish you the best.

peace,

RA

Carla said...

Richard, you asked:

"My question is: Why is the Silva/Abanes issue NOT settled."

I've followed this like many other bloggers because what you've done in this instance could very well open the door to a bigger mess that all bloggers could be affected by. I'm trying hard to understand the whys and the hows.

I think for many, maybe the reason this doesn't come across as settled is because you're spending SO much effort defending your actions, instead of coming across as interested at all, in genuine Christian reconciliation with a fellow brother in Christ.

In other words, all this seems to come off as all about you, and that's disturbing since as believers it's SUPPOSED to be all about Him.

Something to consider as you wonder why this doesn't appear to be settled.

No need to respond, just something to think about and pray about.

SDG,
Carla

Col.3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

eric opsahl said...

THIS IS NOT and attempt to simply add criticism against R.A.

I'm simply amazed that after reading Camp's plea for reconciliation, R.A.'s only response was that short reply.
Doesn’t that say volumns?

Not even a hint that he agrees reconciliation needs to happen.
At what point do you brush the dust off your feet and move on.

Steve could not have given a more biblical plea. I can’t judge R.A.'s heart and motives, but he clearly choose NOT TO reply to the Christ centered challenge.

Unfortunately a man can do what is right in his own heart, what’s left to do?

Eric O

Douglas said...

"Unfortunately a man can do what is right in his own heart, what’s left to do?"

what's left to do?

Pray, memorize 2 Timothy 2 and diligently practice the applications I reckon.

John Brown said...

Carla.......

It is evident to me that when this whole issue was posted by Ingrid on her site and referred to Richard's site originally and Ingrid's following post referring to Steve's blog with the requisite piling on of those commenting and then one must feel a bit beat up.

And before we be quick to "spiritualize" that and say we should not give way to "feelings" etc. let us look at the example of Peter when he felt angry and slashed the ear off of the soldier in defense of Jesus or David acting on "feelings". On one Jesus said "He would build His church" and the other God said "David was a man after His own heart".

I am in no way excusing anyone but this site seems filled with people who call for grace and exhibit little. IF RA is wrong it still calls for truth AND grace rather than piling on a single individual. And it matters not if anyone is "buying it". Popularity, or lack of, has never made anyone right.

I think if we all were really honest we would admit that at the end of the day our arguments and points of view are colored by the overall viewpoint one takes toward Rick Warren. That IMO is why Chris Roseborough has only been brought up by myself and not adequately answered. Others seem willing to turn a blind eye because he agrees with your RW view while I bring him up because I think it underscores an inconsistency.

Although I do not know Richard I was a member of Saddleback for over two decades. I too have seen so many fabricated lies, half-truths, exaggerations, misquotes, etc. that I feel almost a pull of loyalty to defend the church and RW even though I don't agree with him on everything. IMO, having grown up in the tradition of Christian schools with teachers predominantly from Bob Jones, I think it is fair to say that I know the fundamentals of the faith and in now is Warren off base on any of them. But just as important as his methods or ministry is the veracity of the charges against him. I have just seen waaaaayyyyy to many untruths. Jim Bublitz (?sp) even admitted to me that many in the "discernment ministries" feel that the dangers of Warren are so important that sometimes they don't let truth get in the way of the attacks.

Douglas said...

I believe Rick Warren is a Scripture twister and false teacher, an unrepentant one at that. The Purpose Driven Movement is riddled with deception. Flee its clutches before it is too late!

Coram Deo said...

RA said: Steve; .... The perfect postmodern justification.

RA: Well, with that, I think you've pretty much wrapped up this conversation. Me postmodern? Even the hint of that is absurd in the extreme. ROFL. I wish you the best.

peace,

RA


ROFL? ROFL?!?

After the absolutely gripping and Biblical plea from SJC for peace and reconciliation the best RA can muster is to pick out one sentence, laugh at it, summarily issue the cyber-equivalent of the New York State Bird, and then dismissively walk away?

Folks the cavalier, flippant and haughty attitude on display herein is simply stunning.

It really is.

To be honest it's difficult for me to put into words what I'm feeling right now as I type this comment but it's somewhere between pity and righteous indignation.

Look, I'm not taking a secondary offense for Ken Silva or SJC anyone else here. I'm simply in shock at the display of indifference, defiance, and stiff-necked rebellion against God's Holy Word and the high handed snubbing of a Christ-centered God honoring appeal for reconciliation from a brother in the Lord.

Behold the fruit of the Purpose Driven Paradigm!

THIS my friends is what Ken Silva's original article, "A PASTOR'S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES" was about in the first place.

THIS exact and well established pattern of un-Christ like, self justifying, fast and loose spin-doctoring by one Richard Abanes is what Ken Silva's original article, "A PASTOR'S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES" was about in the first place.

THIS bitter fruit, born from the womb of the Purpose Driven Paradigm in the person of Saddleback apologist Richard Abanes is what Ken Silva's original article, "A PASTOR'S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES" was about in the first place.

Throughout this ordeal RA has done nothing if not MAKE KEN SILVA'S CASE FOR HIM!

SJC, you're appealing to RA in the light of scripture and admonishing him to go to his brother (Ken Silva) - and I applaud your heart felt efforts - but to be quite frank based on his open letter to you and his behavior throughout this dust up it isn't clear to me whether or not RA actually considers Ken Silva to be his brother in the Lord. I've never actually seen RA clarify this point.

Eventually one must begin to question when or if Titus 3:10 comes into play in this situation. Methinks it's closer now than it was before.

'Til He returns or calls me home,
CD

John Brown said...

And again, the issue seems to be about "Purpose Driven". Right or wrong you can't hang RA or me or anyone else around Rick Warren's neck except someone that Warren fully supports publically or pays a salary too. He is not responsible for anyone else. To suggest otherwise as a corollary one would have to hang around Steve's neck anyone here who might agree with him but post an un-Christian like response for any reason. It's not logical.

I have read of some very stupid things done in the name of "purposed driven" that would embarrass Warren. Any head of an organization or movement for lack of a better term can say the same thing. Pioneers have always got the arrows.....some are even friendly fire.

Coram Deo said...

John Brown,

With all respect your argumentation on this point doesn't hold water for two very important reasons:

1) RA isn't some backwater, wild-eyed, fringe dwelling PDL-enthralled raving lunatic. On the contrary he's written an entire book from an insider's perspective on PDL with the full cooperation and blessing of his friend and pastor Rick Warren.

I seriously doubt RA is willing to publicly distance himself from Rick Warren or his teachings, and I would strongly suspect the same would hold true of Rick Warren towards RA, therefore it seems unfair at best for a 3rd party to attempt to do so on their behalf.

2) The ENTIRE POINT of Ken Silva's offending article, "A PASTOR'S ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD ABANES" was to set RA forward as "Exhibit A" and critique him as a prime example of the bitter fruit of the Purpose Driven Paradigm.

Considering these facts it seems both impossible and unwarranted to make an attempt to deny that the fruit in question has truly blossomed forth and ripened as a direct result of being fed and nurtured by the vine which bore it.

To date we have seen that the crux of Silva's original argument has been lent much credence by the original subject of the piece and we shouldn't miss this important fact as it would be a disservice to the truth to do so.

In Christ,
CD

gigantor1231 said...

John Brown

Nice drive by John! Or perhaps you are Richard in abolitionists clothing?
Your words lack credibility because you fail to deliver any evidence of any individual here who's message to R.A. was not seasoned with grace, and if you could produce the few who were less than gracious I doubt that you would take into account that those few do not represent those of us who have extended the hand of grace to Richard!

Richard, You ought to be ashamed!

Roger said...

What does ROFL mean?

Michele Rayburn said...

I can answer that one!

Rolling On Floor Laughing :D

Michele

PuritanReformed said...

>Steve; .... The perfect postmodern justification.

RA: Well, with that, I think you've pretty much wrapped up this conversation. Me postmodern? Even the hint of that is absurd in the extreme. ROFL. I wish you the best.

peace,

RA

==

Richard,

Steve has been very kind to you as it is, treating much much better than you deserve due to your arrogant pontification and santimonious speech. That you chose to pick up one short phrase and attack him, then summarily dismss his plea for you to engage in reconciliation, just proves Pastor Ken's point in that article of his about you. You truly are "Exhibit A" of the fruits of the PD paradigm.

PuritanReformed said...

John Brown:

In case you haven't actually follow this properly, Chris R's comments threatening a lawsuit was placed on Abanes' blog (ie not official), and later on Chris R apologized to Abanes about the matter. If you want to create a parallel between the two episodes, Chris R apologized for threatening Abanes while Abanes has been not only unrepentant, but continue to justify his own actions. So when is Abanes going to apologize to Pastor Ken for violating 1 Cor. 6 and Mt. 18, and forcing his website to go down? You want a parallel? Chris R apologized; Abanes did not.

Deb_B said...

Campi, brother mine by grace, this has been a painful thread to watch unfold, for sure. I believe your wisdom has been borne out in not shutting it down and thus allowing it to come round to where it regrettably has.

"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." [Philippeans 3:12-14]

Richard Abanes said...

PURITAN: and later on Chris R apologized to Abanes about the matter. If you want to create a parallel between the two episodes, Chris R apologized for threatening Abanes

RA: What in the world are you talking about?!! CR never "apologized" to me for a thing!!! I met his demands, which prompted him to accept MY apology, then he contacted my ISP and withdrew the complaint he had ALREADY lodged with them. My goodness, man, stop making things up to keep this charade going.

Richard Abanes said...

ERIC.........R.A.'s only response was that short reply.

SJ: ...........time to move on from the lengthy self-justifying comments (which if you haven't noticed, no one is buying at all here or at other blogs.

Hmmm. Damned if I type. Damned if I don't type. Herein is the real issue. NOTHING I say matters. NOTHING I don't say matters. There is no amount of explaining, or not explaining that will make a difference.

If I give an explanation, it's just a lengthy self-justification -- I am told to shut up.

If I don't bother saying anything, then it's a clear sign that I have no interest in truth, giving answers, or being reconciled.

The truth just DOESN'T MATTER because a foregone conclusion has already been drawn based on one thing, and one thing only -- i.e., I am not in the "camp" that is allied against Rick Warren.

So, no matter what the truth is; no matter what I say; no matter what scriptures I cite/exegete; I MUST still be wrong.

For those still willing to think a bit, let me point out that I am the same person who wrote against Harry Potter. When I did that, everyone cheered.

I am the same person who has written books dismantling Mormonism, both its history and its false doctrinal foundation. Shouts of elation went up for those works, too.

I am the same person who has issued warning after warning about false New Age teachings, even having had one book against the New Age endorsed by John MacArthur.

But then I take an unpopular stand by:

a ) saying that Rick Warren is not the heretic everyone is making him out to be; and

b ) bringing correction to those who have misused the words "apologetics"/"discernment" to falsely attack others

. . . . .and WHAM!

Suddenly, overnight, I magically become an evil, worldly, lying, deceptive, carnal, treacherous false teacher who somehow has lost all his ability to understand even the simplest of Bible verses!! Hmmmmm, does that make sense to anyone?

The truth is that for many people this "Silva vs. Abanes" controversy is really all about Rick Warren and my UNwillingness to go along with the hate-rhetoric and fear-mongering that has been going on under the guise of defending the faith.

To such individuals, this is not about Ken Silva or me -- not really. And it's certainly not about what is true, or who is in the right -- that is painfully evident by the ongoing IGNORING of things like Silva's violation of federal copyright/privacy laws and Rosebrough's legal threats against me online. To such individuals, it's all about being against whatever is for Rick Warren.

It couldn't be more obvious.

As someone over at Charsima boards so boldly and plainly said it:

"Anyone who could defend Rick Warren has already proven he is immoral.”

That about says it all. The guilty party has been targeted for trial and execution (read: Witch Hunt).

RAbanes
Richard Abanes
Pop Culture Mix

P.S. Steve, really disappointed in you. I wish I would have kept my thoughts of you to the memory of you singing "He's All You Need" and how that ministered to me. Listen to my music, and you'll hear my heart. We are in some ways, so very much alike. It's too bad we didn't meet under different circumstances.

Richard Abanes said...

STEVE: But here is the real issue: are you willing to do whatever it takes to reconcile with your brother in Christ, Ken Silva?

RA: Okay, let's try this and see what happens. As I noted very plainly in my Open Letter to you:

"I find it extremely odd that the 2005 critiques I wrote on Ken Silva—the very ones that he quotes and discusses in his so-called "response" articles against me — have not been online since 2005! So, the obvious question is: If those articles he is using as the bases of his criticizing and attacking me are no longer even online (and haven't been for over three years), then why are his response articles to me still up?"

I have not had ANY -- I repeat ANY -- critical articles up about Silva for 3 years. So there seems to be no reason whatsoever for him to have up these articles: 1. "A Pastor's Assessment of Richard Abanes," which is a response to NOTHING that I currently have online (or have had online since 3 years ago); and 2. "Setting Richard Abanes Straight on my Rick Warren Attack," which is a response to NOTHING that I currently have online (or have had online since 3 years ago).

Steve, let's see if Ken Silva is "willing to do whatever it takes to reconcile" with a brother. To me, to be reconciled, he needs to:

A. Remove BOTH of those articles from his website;

B. Alert his "contacts" to delete those article/links.

And now, these requests:

C. Remove from his website that private email I sent to IPOWER, since after all, it was/is a violation of federal copyright/privacy laws to have it up there;

D. Alert his "contacts" to please delete from their website that private email from me to IPOWER, since after all, it was/is a violation of federal copyright/privacy laws to have it up there;

E. Publicly apologize for posting my private email online, acknowledging that it was wrong of him to do so.

F. Limit any future criticisms of me to: 1. my doctrine/theology; 2. the accuracy of my factual research; 3. my perspective on various issues; and/or 4. my Bible interpretations. (Notice: nothing here about not criticizing Rick Warren).

These requests do not seem unreasonable at all. Now, the question is: What about Ken?

And no, I am not going to publicly "repent" of anything I did not do. Nor will I apologize for sending an email to IPOWER (which was not unbiblical, even in light of Matt. 18 and 1 Cor. 6). But I am certainly open to hearing his thoughts/requests. And perhaps, at this point, if Silva is serious, he'd be willing to take it behind closed doors -- perhaps to a third party mediator such as Todd Wilken. Wilken is, after all, a vehement critic of Rick Warren and all things Purpose Driven. But I do respect him, trust him, and admire his ministry -- I even signed the petition to have his show resurrected.

Now, it's up to Ken Silva.

R. Abanes
Pop Culture Mix

Carla said...

Richard,

your connection with Rick Warren aside (and to be honest, I suspect there are more than a few that couldn't care less about that, I know I certainly don't), the real issue and the important issue is the fact that you chose NOT to go to Ken Silva directly and make an effort to work this out, but instead just did what you could to shut him down.

Now in the aftermath, you just continue to defend yourself when SO many people keep commenting here and elsewhere just how wrong that was. I explained this situation to an usaved relative of mine this morning - just to see what an opinion from her perspective might be and she commented "wow, and NO effort was made at all to go to the guy one on one first, to see if they couldn't work it out??". I find it curious that even an unsaved person sees this aspect of it.

What I do know, is if I were in your shoes (and I'll be honest and say I'm sure glad I'm not), going to Ken privately and making every effort to reconcile or at the very LEAST, come to a better understanding - even if that meant agreeing to disagree - and letting this issue alone, would be the courteous, considerate, Christlike thing to do. I'm stunned that you don't seem to agree with this at all.

Sadly, you contacting his web host with your letter (and their actions) has said that Ken Silva doesn't have the right to his opinion, yet YOU do. I just have to wonder, who's next?

Legit question, I think. Even more important, would be to consider this passage quite earnestly today:

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus (Phil. 2:1-5)

Carla said...

Woops - my last comment went through before I'd realized Richard had responded again.

Richard, I would just strongly encourage you to genuinely and prayerfully consider what so many here have said, and asked. I've said all I felt like saying, so I'm done here.

SOLI DEO GLORIA

SJ Camp said...

Carla
Well said and thank you.

Richard
I pulled my latest comment to you not knowing that you had already responded to it looks like. I didn't want to go down the "Rick Warren road" on this thread. It is off topic and that is why I pulled it.

Your post RA is not a call to be reconciled with Ken. It is a to do list for Ken. Reconciliation is not a set of hurdles one must jump over to be back in someone else's good graces. it a humbling of two people whom have had ought against each other or where a breach has occurred, to come and seek repentance and forgiveness of sin so that as fellow Christians nothing is left outstanding that would prevent genuine, unfeigned Christian fellowship in the Lord Jesus Christ.

So I ask you again my brother, are you willing to reconcile with Ken? Your latest comment does nothing to move that simple plea forward.

By His grace and for His glory:
Steve

Richard Abanes said...

CARLA: you chose NOT to go to Ken Silva directly and make an effort to work this out, but instead just did what you could to shut him down.

RA: Please, Carla. Let me be very, very, very clear.

Regarding my NOT going to Ken Silva first, THAT is something not commanded in scripture of me. Matthew 18 is about personal/private sins committed by someone against you. NOT a public action/statement that is out in the public arena.

I am not alone in understanding Matthew 18 in this way. In fact, in my open letter to Steve, I quote from two different Online Discernment Ministries that advance the exact same view.

As for me wanting to "shut him down," that is not only utterly false, but absurd. I'm sorry, but it is.

I have/had NO desire to shut Silva's website down. My request was for ONE, isolated article to be removed THAT IS ALL. That is all I asked for, that is all I wanted. IPOWER then requested Silva to take that article down based on their prompt "investigation."

Silva chose to defiantly refuse that request, and THAT is what temporarily shut down the website, which by the way, was back up somewhere else in less than 24 hours. So, please, stop with the "I-was-trying-to-shut-him-down" accusation.
____________
CARLA: you just continue to defend yourself when SO many people keep commenting here and elsewhere just how wrong that was.

RA: First, there are plenty of people who don't feel like it was wrong -- trust me, plenty.

Second, what I actually find SO amazing is how SO many people don't see "just how wrong" it was for Chris Rosebrough to do even worse to me. You don't find that curious at all? As I state above:

1. Rosebrough threatened ME personally with his attorneys (while my email was to an ISP, not even to Silva);
2. Rosebrough used EXPLICT/DIRECT threats of legal action against ME personally (while my email, at MOST, unintentionally implied it to an ISP).
3. Rosebrough boldly flaunted his threats to me online for all the world to see (while I attempted to keep my complaint private).

But no one says a thing: "Sshhhhh, it doesn't matter what Chris did, after all, he was really sticking it to Abanes."

In fact, an article on Ken Silva's own Christian Research Network titled "Those in Glass Houses" APPLAUDED Rosebrough's actions, describing them as Chris "not laying down and allowing Richard Abanes’ attack against Discernment blogs to go unchallenged."

It seems that no one is really all that concerned about being fair across the board on this issue.
_____________
CARLA: . . . you contacting his web host with your letter (and their actions) has said that Ken Silva doesn't have the right to his opinion, yet YOU do.

RA: I'm not sure what letter YOU'RE reading, but it certainly wasn't the one I sent to IPOWER. No one is bothering at all to actually read what is going on and sift carefully through the facts. It's all knee-jerk, emotional responses.

Here: YES, KEN SILVA DOES HAVE A RIGHT TO HIS OPINIONS JUST LIKE ME. There, see? That's my view.

Now, it is also my view that apologetics/discernment, per Walter Martin's foundational teachings, is about: doctrinal views; theology; accuracy in research; and historical documentation.

Martin never engaged condemning someone as carnal/unbiblical based on: baseless character assassination; their taste in so-called "worldly" music; or their position on someone else (e.g., Rick Warren). These are the issues here -- NOT whether or not I want Silva to have an opinion. That's ridiculous.

R. Abanes
Pop Culture Mix

Richard Abanes said...

Steve,

Reconciliation is variously defined as: "the reestablishing of cordial relations," "The reestablishment of friendly relations; conciliation or rapprochement," "Reconciliation is changing for the better a relationship between two or more persons."

Without taking action, reaching such an objective is impossible. Offenses have been commited, and in this case, laws have been violated, which has resulted in damage to the unity of the church. Wrongs need to be righted. To simply say, "No problem, nothing ever happend, everything is fine," is not reconciliation.

Reconciliation comes about as two people look at a situation and reach an agreement to: 1) forgive each other; 2) right those wrongs that have been comitted; and 3) move forward not looking back or holding grudges against each other.

I am most certainly willing to do move through all three of the above steps. My "set of hurdles," as you call it, is in connection to step #2.

With regard to step #1, in my private prayer closet, as I have knelt before God, it is step that I have already taken. I forgive, Ken. But there remains a great deal that must take place before reconciliation is possible.

For example, a person might truly forgive someone who has stolen from them, but that doesn't mean the thief is not arrested, or that the thief must not make restitution to set things right. That is where I am at this point.

But where is Ken? Why is he not here talking this out as I am seeking to do? I quote from the comments section of a discernment ministry website that is very well known as a serious critic of Rick Warren and Purpose Driven:

"Richard seems eager to discuss, Ken does not."
- Peter Hamm

"They both need forgiveness but I would agree that Richard seems willing to discuss."
- David Norris

R. Abanes

SJ Camp said...

Richard
Regarding my NOT going to Ken Silva first, THAT is something not commanded in scripture of me.

Let me be very clear: YES IT IS. (Matt. 5:23-24; Matt. 18:15; Col. 3:12-14; Roms. 12:18; Eph. 4:30-32).

This is basic Christianity. If you have ought against anyone, you go to that person and seek to make it right, seek to ask for forgiveness and to extend forgiveness, seek to reconcile, seek to confess and repent of any complaint or sin.

Richard Abanes said...

STEVE: Let me be very clear: YES IT IS.

RA: Then we have reached an impasse, which was predictable.

And there are many godly Christians, BTW, who would disagree with you on this point regarding such a public issue -- sorry, it was not a personal/private sin.

And, BTW, if Silva was so wronged and sinned against by ME writing that letter to IPOWER, then, uhm, why no hue and cry about him skipping the first two steps in Matthew 18 and IMMEDIATELY taking it to the church through use of the Internet? I'm sure you already have an answer for that.

Peace,

RAbanes

Douglas said...

Judges 4:17But Sisera fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18And Jael came out to meet Sisera and said to him, "Turn aside, my lord; turn aside to me; do not be afraid." So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. 19And he said to her, "Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty." So she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him. 20And he said to her, "Stand at the opening of the tent, and if any man comes and asks you, 'Is anyone here?' say, 'No.'" 21But Jael the wife of Heber took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand. Then she went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple until it went down into the ground while he was lying fast asleep from weariness. So he died. 22And behold, as Barak was pursuing Sisera, Jael went out to meet him and said to him, "Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking." So he went in to her tent, and there lay Sisera dead, with the tent peg in his temple. 23 So on that day God subdued Jabin the king of Canaan before the people of Israel. 24And the hand of the people of Israel pressed harder and harder against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.

Deb_B said...

"RA: Then we have reached an impasse, which was predictable."

Of course was and is egregiously and unfortunately "predictable", based on your own written words.

The plethora of your own words - every time you write another self-serving, self-defending treatise to self here and elsewhere across the web - have regrettably made a number of things abundantly clear.

Not the least of which is ongoing exaltation of self, defense of self, self-interest, self-absorption, self-centeredness, self EVERYTHING, none of which follows our Lord Jesus' mandate to COME AND DIE TO SELF ... something your OWN WORDS have repeatedly shown you are simply unwilling to do, regrettably...

"If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." [Mark 8:34; Matt 16:24; Luke 9:23]

and...

"For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls."
[1 Peter 2:20-5]

You can continue to self-defend and write endlessly, that is your prerogative. However, your own written words stand in stark contrast to God's own counsel in Scripture.

No amount of disingenuous obfuscation and wittering and prattling on endlessly here in this thread, or elsewhere, is going to mitigate the stark contrast of your own words and the plenarily inspired, inerrant canon of Scripture.

Only Look said...

Mr Abanes,

I agree that most here do not agree with you, but where have they said this?

>Suddenly, overnight, I magically become an evil, worldly, lying, deceptive, carnal, treacherous false teacher who somehow has lost all his ability to understand even the simplest of Bible verses!!<

If you can provide some quote here where Steve or anyone else besides a troll or drive by or even Ken Silva of saying this,then is it possible that you indeed have a blindspot?

Sometimes when everyone seems against you and you are in the minority we are tempted to feel that God is sympathetic and we are standing for Him, but it may indeed possibly be something to be considered as us being in the wrong and God is trying to use many of His people to help us see the possible element of truth. I hope you take time to consider that you may have a blindspot here. God uses his body to help sanctify us because He loves us. He is not trying to rob us but to give something to us and His blessed hand of chastening is sweet oil upon our heads that humble us and crush our egos. I know I have been there and in need of this crushing. Grapes have to be crushed in order for the wine to pour and even Jonah had to be taken outside of Himself by reason of even a vine. These are members of the vine who are looking past the great works God once did through you in your books and helping you see how much he loves you. Don't you wish to be loved, not for your works, but for How much it cost Him at the cross? That is why we find life in His death and are told by Him that in self denial we see His salvation more clearly.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

SJ Camp said...

TO ALL:
This has been a wonderful thread so far. But I will not tolerate rants of any kind here that are not on message with this thread or somehow is not aiding to bring resolve to this unfortunate conflict between RA and KS. This thread is not about Rick Warren or his ministry. I will not allow any comment consumed with that topic to stand on this thread.

The discussion overall has been very good and honoring to the Lord in tone and truth. But it is becoming a bit derailed - let's stay on track here y'all. Fair enough?

BTW, the sermon today at church was on forgiveness. Pastor James was covering many of the same verses we have been discussing here. Encouraging.

John Brown
Your latest comment has been deleted.

Richard
I have been more than patient with you and have given you much freedom here. It is now gone. You will not hijack this thread as you have done with others.

Honor the Lord and His Word my brother and be reconciled to your brother KS. Stop making excuses and do your duty.

Question: are you a member at Saddleback Church? I asked before but you never answered.

In His grace,
Steve
Col. 1:9-14

Coram Deo said...

SJC,

Thank you for pulling this thread back into context. I have somewhat to say about this matter which I believe to be relevant to the broader context of this discussion, but which you may consider to be "off thread". If in the Lord you feel that this comment shouldn't see the light of day then by all means please delete it posthaste.

I must confess in the Lord that I'm personally appalled by RA's copious uncharitable responses thus far which, in the light of scripture, clearly originate from the flesh and are therefore worldly and carnal which things are displeasing to the LORD.

In the Lord's providence our Sunday school lessons as of late have dealt with the issue of church discipline and today we were neck deep in Matt. 18.

In your view of scripture when does Titus 3:10 and/or Matthew 18:15-18 in particular come into play in a situation such as we have with the Abanes/Silva dust up?

Are these remedies necessarily restricted only to the local church, or is there a broader application to the universal professing church?

I tend towards thinking there is an application to the universal church, but it's unclear to me how such discipline might actually and effectually be normatively put into practice by the Body.

I'm particularly struck by the Biblical fact that a regenerate heart will be unfailingly demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit which are peace, love, longsuffering, etc. Certainly true, regenerate, born-again Christians can - and frequently do - fall into miserable sin or react suddenly from the "old man" in the flesh. Yet a heart that's truly devoted above all things to the glory of Jesus Christ and which is being sanctified by the Holy Spirit from glory to glory will be found as a pattern of life to be obedient, submissive, teachable and humble to His instruction, rebuke, and reproach.

It truly grieves my heart to say that I have seen none of these characteristics in RA's responses here or anywhere else where this subject is under discussion. To me this is no light matter because the scriptures teach that not only individuals, but entire congregations can possess all the trappings, appearances and credentials of Christianity - being students of the scriptures and being impressively outwardly religious all while being inwardly lost and without hope (i.e. see the church of Ephesus in Revelation). To call Jesus “Lord, Lord” and to disobey His commands is not evidence of belief but of unbelief. Isn’t the responsibility of a Christian to be a witness to Christ in the world as opposed to seeking to secure his perceived “rights” in the world? Isn’t it indicative of a divided loyalty (i.e. being double-minded) to find or manufacture excuses for why we don’t obey the commands of scripture? Aren’t Christians to be obedient to Christ on His terms and not our own? If we find ourselves to be in such a sorry estate do we not have good cause to question the reality of our faith?

Where is the love?

Where is the humility?

We must always be sensitive to the possibility that we're dealing with unbelievers in our midst and therefore we are commanded to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves as we lovingly correct those who do err in the faith. If through this process we win our brother, or restore one who stumbles because he is weaker in the faith then Christ is glorified, and if through this process we cast out one who scorns correction and spurns discipline then the spiritual health and purity of the church is protected and Christ is glorified. Of course the purpose of proper, Biblical discipline is always restoration, not ostracism.

Now PLEASE understand that I'm not judging RA's heart here or suggesting that he is an unbeliever - only the Lord knows his heart - but the church is called to judge behavior and how one's behavior lines up with the scriptural profile of a Christian and in my view of scripture RA's behavior thus far has been absolutely reprehensible and has brought shame to the Name of the Lord.

In Him,
CD

SJ Camp said...

"CD"
Over all some very good thoughts you mentioned. Thank you.

Here is one question you asked in particular that I think is worth addressing a bit more and is pertinent to our discussion here:

In your view of scripture when does Titus 3:10 and/or Matthew 18:15-18 in particular come into play in a situation such as we have with the Abanes/Silva dust up?

1. Let me address Matt. 18:15-18 first. This passage has come to be known as the first teaching on church discipline. The thrust of this passage is meant not for some glorified witch-hunt against another Christian - for retribution or revenge, but to encourage one in a fault to repentance, restoration and reconciliation.

The first part of verse 15, though RA disagrees, does deal directly with this situation. "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother."

How it applies here is obvious; Ken wrote an article that contains some language in it that in part RA feels is slanderous to his person and ministry. RA should have contacted KS privately (and remember, that article was written three (3) years ago), and begin to talk through with him the language that KS used, the motive and intent behind the language, to see if what KS said was truly slanderous or just being misunderstood, and finally to see if KS was open to any change or alternative language that did not compromise his initial article AND still satisfied RA as well. The prayerful byproduct would have been to achieve resolve that would satisfy both parties, settle any dispute, and mend whatever breach of fellowship had occurred. Sadly, that unfortunately never occurred.

IMHO, that is where the wheels began to fall off the preverbal wagon.

2. As to Titus 3:10. To see context, we must also includes verse nine: "But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him," That text specifically deals with heresy (the Greek word used for factious- to stir up division is heretikon and used only here in the NT.) If someone within a church has purposely introduced unsound doctrine, garnered an audience that would follow such doctrine, he is a divisive man, factious, a heretic. He needs to be admonished once and a second time and then, as the Apostle Paul has said, have nothing to do with him.

This is not referring to causing divisions over disagreements which many have done to label those within a church that don't follow every little jot and tittle of the leaderships wishes on apocryphal things. But it must be guarded in context as to the soundness of the truth claims being asserted within the context of a local church.

Example. If a member of a church is constantly asking the leadership why the church is thinking about going seeker-friendly or emerging and is with humility, grace and love asking legitimate questions of the pastors biblically, but out of frustration they don't want anyone to put a spoke in the wheels and stifle their plans - they might after a very short season label such a one as being factious or divisive. That would not be an accurate rendering of this text and is usually done so for political reasons.

However, say if an adult Sunday School teacher within a local church starts teaching against the doctrine of the Trinity; denies that truth; claims Jesus did not eternally exist; embraces modalism, etc. - it would right for that man to be confronted as being a factious man, a heretic, because he is causing division due to his introduction of heresy into that congregation.

I don't think that applies to this situation at all. RA and KS are not guilty of any introduction of heresy as far as I can read; nor has the breach between them been surrounding a particular heresy; but more around the charge of possible slander against RA due to his affiliations or convictions held in ministry.

I hope this helps a bit and I do thank you for you question.

Let us all continue to pray for reconciliation between these two brothers. And in the meantime, for a Christlike and grace filled demeanor to accompany all our words by those discussing this in the blogosphere.

Grace and peace,
Steve
James 3:2-12

littlegal_66 said...

This has been a frustrating thread for me to watch. I have been out of town, and monitoring the dialogue via my Palm, with no way to respond when certain things caught my eye. (Providence, I'm sure--preventing knee-jerk from me). FWIW, here are a few things that I wanted to respond to.

coram deo said:
After the absolutely gripping and Biblical plea from SJC for peace and reconciliation the best RA can muster is to pick out one sentence, laugh at it, summarily issue the cyber-equivalent of the New York State Bird, and then dismissively walk away?”
Amen. It convicted me to tears and caused me to search my own heart as I read it last night.

------------------------------------------------------

Richard Abanes:
First off, I do want you to know how much I respect the fact that you have hung in here.

On to the topic....in your open letter, you explained why you closed the comment thread, and why you didn’t answer Steve’s question, but you didn’t really explain why you deleted his question prior to closing the thread. (If I missed it, or if you explained here, please direct me to that).

Also, in the open letter, you said you disagreed with Steve’s assessment that Ken Silva is a “dear man of God.” Then you went on to state that your opinion of him is irrelevant. What part of Steve’s assessment do you disagree with? (We can all agree that Pastor Silva is a man, so that leaves either “dear,” or “man of God,” or “dear man of God”). And I believe your opinion of him IS important, as it most likely would (or should, at least) affect the way you deal with his offense to you.

Back to CampOnThis. Here, you stated: “And there are many godly Christians, BTW, who would disagree with you on this point regarding such a public issue -- sorry, it was not a personal/private sin.”

I’m inclined to agree with you there….unfortunately there are many that would disagree with Campi on that point, and therein lies part of the problem…and we as the Body are feeling the effects.
(continued below in next comment)

littlegal_66 said...

richard abanes (cont'd):
Later you stated:
”For those still willing to think a bit, let me point out that I am the same person who wrote against Harry Potter. When I did that, everyone cheered.
I am the same person who has written books dismantling Mormonism, both its history and its false doctrinal foundation. Shouts of elation went up for those works, too.
I am the same person who has issued warning after warning about false New Age teachings, even having had one book against the New Age endorsed by John MacArthur.”


Praise God for that. Praise God for your contribution to the church. Great list of accomplishments. But do you want the most memorable thing about you and your ministry to be this controversy? Is that the lasting impression you want to leave? Your “claim” to “blogging fame”? Everything we do is for Him and His glory alone.

I implore you--please, please, don’t let this keep going. Through His grace, you have in your power the ability to help put an end to the whole thing (and personally, I don’t believe it involves Pastor Silva [or you] jumping through hoops or meeting a list of demands). You seem to feel as though the ball is now in Ken Silva’s court. In all honesty, can you really state without reservation that you’ve exhausted every possible way to resolve this? Please do what you can to fix this while it is yet still fixable. And think of the glory such an amazing reconciliation would bring to God. Please don’t allow this to fester and bloom bitterness and strife. The world is LITERALLY watching—thanks to the blogosphere.

John Brown said...

With all due respect Steve I am not sure I understand why you say this thread really has nothing to do with Rick Warren but then in the same post ask Abanes if he is a member of Saddleback Church, Warren's church.

That having been said, I too write the following with nothing else but the current topic in mind sans any prejudice one is able to humanly ignore regarding tertiary issues. I write that seriously and humbly.

As "owner" of this blog you certainly have no requirement to allow my post. Actually I would not have tried to post again after my last post save your deletion. You may choose to not post this and that is your perogative. I will only say this and leave it here and not post again:

Again, why has no one dealt with the legitimate question of Chris Roseborough's threatened public suit against RA on his website unless RA apologized for a perceived offense. RA DID apologize for the perceived offense and the matter was reconciled.

The correlation between the two is that Roseborough made a public threat to RA, did not follow any of the demands you are asking RA to follow towards Silva, RA still apologized for the perceived offense. With Silva, RA sought to handle it privately with Silva's ISP. Silva refused to apologize for any perceived offence, his ISP agreed with RA and those sympathetic to Silva have brought the matter to public attention while casting Silva in the role as the martyr.

I just don't understand what I certainly see as a double standard. I shake my head as no one chooses to deal with this. It seems when RA has met some charges with silence he is assumed guilty in silence. Is this no different?

I really do wish to see reconciliation between God's children. I work with persecuted brothers and sisters around the world who don't have the "luxury" of sparring with one another over such "contentious" issues when belief in our Saviour can be literally a life and death situation. I often think the things we fight about, and of which I admit to being guilty of as well, is sad example of straining at gnats.

May God bring peace to those who love Him and reconciliation to the body of Christ. It is most needed.

Ciao

Doulos Christou said...

Richard,

Are you posting as John?

Doulos

Roger said...

Ok, I am very much opposed to the route RA chose to take in order to get the article removed from Ken's site. I expressed this here at the beginning I believe and also at another blog.

But I would have to agree with him that we should be just as much disappointed in CR for the route he took against RA. Richard, I agree that Chris was wrong for doing what he did to you. He was clearly acting outside of biblical bounds also. I hope that the others here see that too. But this does not negate your actions. I believe that you both need to humble yourselves and reconcile in accordance with the scriptures. This would all be much easier, with less heartache, if you would just admit that what you did wasn't the best thing to do and be reconciled. You to Ken and CR to you.

Grace & Peace,

R.A. Servin

Lisa said...

Steve and everyone,
Some great advice has been given to Mr. Abanes by all, but I think Corem Deo asked the right question. Is Matt 18:17 and Titus 3:10 now appropriate. I disagree Steve that this situation does not in some way fit the lesson of the text. We must remember, Mr. Abanes behavior has been documented and evident all over the internet for all to see for years. Matter of fact, his recent temper tantrum shows that not only has discipline not been brought on him, that he learned nothing from his similar selfish tirades, but that his heart has been hardened even more and may I dare say, he shows the fruit of a seared conscious? This is not something that just happened once. This is an habitual sin of selfish pride that is evident from Mr. Abanes. This is no different than habitually immorality. It is a sin.

The only thing that can now be said to Mr. Abanes is "Examine yourself, whether you be in the faith" for his fruit is rotten. This is something we should all do, especially when we are caught up in sin. If we say there is no sin in us, we are a liar (Yes even you Mr. Abanes). Worrying about what Mr. Silva, or Chris R does, or Harriet Potter does, or Ekhart Tolle does or does not do is not even the issue. Mr. Abanes will be accountable for his actions (as we are all accountable for our own actions), regardless of Mr. Silva or anyone else for that matter.

For too many years the men in the church have behaved like women and no one is disciplining the flock. Are we surprised at Mr. Abanes spoiled rotten fruit? I don't understand why we are. Our children act the same way when they are not disciplined. They behave even worse when we claim their is a consequence to their bad behavior and then do not follow up on the punishment.

One thing is clear. I fear for Mr. Abanes soul because he behaves as someone who is deceived in to believing they are saved, and shows fruit that that is very far from the case. Only the Lord knows BUT the Lord says "by their fruit you SHALL/WILL know them".

Someone needs to tell Mr. Abanes the message HE NEEDS to hear... that we all need to hear. EXAMINE YOURSELF!

Soli Deo gloria!

Only Look said...

I agree that only the Lord knows and for that reason it should stay that way. It is not good for us to become the tare police.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

Lisa said...

There is a big difference in saying someone is not saved and saying their fruit (actions) are that of an unsaved. That is why the Lord gives us the command to look at the fruits of the persons life (their actions) and to examine ourselves also. That is not the "tare police", that is called warning a brother or sister before it is to late (which I would hope we all want someone to warn us if we are behaving in a sinful manner that DISHONORS THE LORD and makes a mockery of the SALVATION we have). That is one of the reasons sin is rampant in the church today, no one wants to say anything for fear of being called "The tare police", "legalist", "pharisee" etc. The Lord also commands to separate from those who will not listen to correction after the proper advisement and warnings (for it causes a greater division and confusion).


Tare police? Gladly accept the man made label if that's all that can be said.

SJ Camp said...

John Brown
With Silva, RA sought to handle it privately with Silva's ISP.

Once again my brother, he should have sought to handle privately with Ken first.

I also agree that CR's action initially, as I have briefly read about it, was not honoring to a biblical process. Though I also believe he was trying to make a greater point in doing so...

Thank you for posting again.
Steve

SJ Camp said...

roger
Well said and thank you for your thoughts.

SJ Camp said...

little gal
Compassionate words of exhortation. The right emphasis for this issue. Thank you.

Eph. 5:1-2

SJ Camp said...

lisa
We should not let our comments go to making statements about RA's salvation. I receive him as our brother in the Lord Jesus; he has a proven ministry; though there are some issues surrounding his logic on this matter that I do disagree with, that is no reflection on the state of his soul.

All of us are in need of God's sanctifying grace each day are we not? I know I am; and I would imagine that both RA and KS are in agreement on that point too. This can be an opportunity under grace to grow in Him or to not. I hope it is the former and not the latter.

Thank you for your comments here, but let's not make judgments about another person's soul here especially when they have not rejected and do embrace the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen?

Grace and peace,
Steve
2 Cor. 13:5

SJ Camp said...

To All
As I wrap up this weekend, please find below some of my favorite verses in all of the NT on prayer and how we should pray for other believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. I know I would covet your prayers in my life in these areas and would also ask you to seek the Lord for your lives as well.

RA and KS, I hope this thread has been thought-provoking, encouraging, comforting and challenging to you both. I am not your ombudsman, but another sinner saved by grace longing to see the Lord honored in this unfortunate situation. We love you men as brothers in the Lord and hope that this exchange is not the end of the story for you in regards to each other.

I know I have learned and benefited a great deal from all on this ongoing conversation.

Thank you to ALL who have participated on this thread. It has proven throughout to be one of the most gracious and honest comboxs I have seen in a long while. Your conduct here as been a testimony of God's grace at work in your lives. SDG.

Grace and peace to you,

I remain,
His unworthy servant in His unfailing love,
Steve

Colossians 1:9-14
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Coram Deo said...

Given RA's well established, documented, and very public pattern of self-justifying, stiff-necked, rebellious, and un-Christ like comportment throughout this ordeal and the light of his clear violation of Matthew 18:16-18, 1 Cor. 6:1-8, and his ongoing defiance of Matt. 5:23-24 I am compelled to arrive at the conclusion that RA must be treated as a Gentile and a publican until he publicly repents.

I call on others within the Christian blogosphere to carefully examine the totality of this weighty situation and prayerfully consider this matter in the light of scripture and if we are of like mind then I exhort you to join me in calling upon RA to repent of his rebellious, flesh pleasing, and prideful resistance to loving scriptural rebuke and correction in this matter.

I fully realize that these are strong words. I recognize that these are strident comments. But upon examination this is the only Biblical conclusion at which I can arrive.

I encourage likeminded Christian bloggers to pick up this clarion call and trumpet it forth until there has been full and public repentance and reconciliation in this situation to the praise of the glory of Jesus Christ alone.

In Christ,
CD

Only Look said...

In the same way that it is good to let the comment stream live out its life, sometimes it is good to let a wound be a wound of a faithful friend and not to keep cutting it open when it might possibly have healed had it not be cut open further and further made to bleed. May the Holy Spirit lead us and not we ourselves. Yes, if our brother not hear us then we are to move on, but not necessarily shoot on. Those were good peaceful words Steve. I pray they take for all of us. May we all get on our knees and weep for one another for reconciliation.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

SJ Camp said...

only look
Amen!

Jay said...

"Richard Abanes said...
It is my final word on this issue.
R. Abanes"

Ah, if only those words had been true....

This whole thing is sad and disheartening- Satan must be ROFL at the time and energy expended by Mr. Silva and Mr. Abanes thrusting and parrying at each other - all the while the Body of Christ suffers the ridicule of the world because of this behavior.

I have a simple solution- both parties surely have a telephone. pick it up and work out the issues like brothers in Christ. If this proves impossible may I suggest you seek the services of a Christian Mediator to privately work out your differences.

Forgiveness, grace and humility can go a long way.

Eloquorius said...

I don't know where else to address this, since it seems comments are being closed -- but not here. I'm on the board of directors for a mid-sized, nonprofit Corporation. Whenever we (responsible board members) hear, "... or else I'm going to contact a lawyer" sort of language, we AND our legal staff always interpret that as threat of lawsuit -- ESPECIALLY when it's tied to litigious terms such as "libel" or other torts. To now proclaim that such language was not a threat of lawsuit is disingenuous at best. This defense of now saying that you didn't actually file a suit or contact a lawyer to do so is a bit like saying, "Officer, uh, I only threatened to get a gun; I didn't actually shoot the guy or even point it at him." Mr. Abanes, a threat is a threat and you know it.

For the record, I find the tone of most ODM's to be harsh and pretentious; little more than theological versions of the National Enquirer. But at much as I disagree with the acerbic tones, I do, however, believe you've set a horrible precedent here. I cannot imagine what the Body would look like of every pastor took your approach when feeling wronged -- even if legitimately! -- took such actions. Being a Christian, let alone a pastor, is tantamount to declaring to the world, "Spit on my reputation if you will; I have only the Lord to defend me and in Him I trust." Be kicked, Mr. Abanes. Be spat upon, brother. Be mocked, derided and have your reputation abused. Our Lord and Savior took all of this first, and for us, deserved none of it, and yet did not revile them for attacking His character. It also happened to another ministry leader, Paul, and we have detailed record of his heart on the matter and the responses that flowed forth. Hint: It didn't involve lawyers.

Eloquorius said...

Also, I noticed Mr. Abanes is now vociferously accusing Ken Silva of committing a federal felony by republishing an email. That's an interesting accusation when one reviews Mr. Abanes website.

Mr Abanes: I see that you have images from the Lord of the Rings film on your site banner. Did you get legal permission from New Line Cinema to reproduce LoTR imagery and logotype on your site? Also, you have an image of Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code", so did you get permission from Doubleday publishers for that, too, or did you just copy-n-paste it? I also see Harry Potter and Chronicles of Naria imagery. Did you get permission from those copyright-holders, too? Oh, and while you're picking nits, the PacMan logo is, technically, someone else's copyright, too. Forgive my doubts, but I highly doubt that you received full legal permission and necessary licensing for the reproductions of all copyrighted content (i.e., imagery) on your site for the purposes of promoting your commercial works. Also, your use of copyrighted works is not protected under the Fair Use exception because your site is very much engaged in promoting commercial activity, rather than mere discussion or satire.

My point is that you're running around screaming that Ken is now a federal criminal. Look, Ken posted an email. One email. It's not like he distributed pirated copies of your works, causing you financial loss. But unless you've executed the appropriate legal documents and paid the royalties on all that copyrighted content on YOUR site, then you'd be quite the hypocrite for labeling Ken as a copyright felon.

Unlike you, I'm not making and outright accusation, but I am asking an interesting question, IMHO.

Lorikate said...

Call me simple, but I still don't see where opinion ends and slander begins. I would think that if you were to say "I believe" and "I think" than it's clearly an opinion - and isn't that what blogging is for? I have many opinions about many things, should your average un-famous blogger be worried? Should we all wonder when someone will be offended at our posts? I say Jesus Christ is Lord. There, I've offended every Muslim or atheist out there, but I'm entitled to my opinion. At least I used to be.

Maybe I'm just being slow on the whole issue. I don't know.